|Behavior and Addiction Research Lab||
New research at Penn State University may shed light on the brain related factors that influence drinking among freshman college students. As we learn more about the brain we might better develop prevention and intervention efforts on college campuses.
Melissa Bonnell successfully defended her doctoral dissertation today. She found support for a measure she developed to assess college students' attitudes and beliefs about and intention to use of protective behavioral strategies (PBS use). She also found that positive attitudes and beliefs about PBS use predicted greater intention to use PBS which in turn predicted greater use of PBS. Missy is completing her pre-doctoral internship at the New Orleans VA. Upon completion of the internship in August she will become a behavioral medicine postdoctoral fellow at the New Orleans VA.
Alcohol use and binge drinking are prevalent on college campuses nationwide. One issue that continues to be discussed and controversial is lowering the legal drinking age back to 18 years old. Some say an emphasis on responsible drinking is more important. What do you think?
Having a designated driver is an important harm reduction strategy for college drinkers. However, recently researchers have found that designated drivers are often drinking too and the "DD" tends to become the person who is perceived to have drank the least. This finding has important implications for harm reduction initiatives on college campuses like the BASICS program coordinated by the Southern Miss College Alcohol Research Team.
Many college students engage in heavy drinking as they think it is common. Additionally, students may not know the actual effects of heavy drinking on their body and behavior. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism provides great information on how to know when you've had enough. The College Alcohol Research Team uses information such as this to help students learn safe drinking behaviors.
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