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Binge Drinking Trajectories of Students During Their Transitions to Adulthood

Impulsivity and sensation seeking traits are two important qualities to examine in order to understand who is at risk for binge drinking across college and into the transition to adulthood. Researchers conducted a longitudinal study, collecting data from more than 2,000 students from the end of high school through the students’ first two years out of college. The study reported these students’ binge drinking trajectories and found that “late bloomers” (students who began binge drinking in the later years of college) were a risk-group group for drinking associated with abnormal patterns of personality maturation during the transition to adulthood. The study, “Trajectories of Binge Drinking and Personality Change Across Emergency Adulthood” is published in the September 2015 issue of the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism supported this research effort.

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Depressive Symptoms Among Students at Entry to College and Related Alcohol Consequences

Over 600 first-year college students from three universities were surveyed to explore the effect of depressed mood at the start of college on students’ drinking outcomes and coping motives throughout the first year of college. Study results identified key differences between men and women. In men, the effect of depressive mood on alcohol consequences was independent of pre-college and college factors. In women, pre-college drinking to cope linked depressive symptoms to alcohol consequences in college. The study, “Gender Differences in the Effect of Depressive Symptoms on Prospective Alcohol Outcomes in the First Year of College” is published in the October 2015 issue of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence. The National Institutes of Health supported this research effort.