The Role of Protective Behavioral Strategies, Social Environment, and Housing Type on Heavy Drinking among College Students

Kimberly A. Tyler, Rachel M. Schmitz, Colleen M. Ray, Scott A. Adams, Leslie Gordon Simons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Background: Though research has examined heavy drinking by housing type, the link between type of college student housing and protective behavioral strategies (PBS) has rarely been examined comparing different college campuses. Objectives: The purpose of this study is to examine the role of housing type, perceptions of peer drinking, and PBS with respondent heavy drinking among undergraduate college students from one Southeastern and one Midwestern university in the United States. Methods: 1,448 college students enrolled in undergraduate courses at two public universities completed a paper and pencil survey of attitudes and experiences about dating, sexuality, and substance use. Data were analyzed using multiple group path analysis. Results: Students living in Greek housing perceived their close friends as engaging in more risky drinking, and had higher rates of heavy drinking compared to those living in other housing types. The effect of perceptions of peer drinking on PBS was significantly different between campuses as were several other indirect pathways to heavy drinking. Conclusion/Importance: Understanding more about the differing roles of college residential environments can help inform effective drinking interventions, and reduce heavy drinking among college students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)724-733
Number of pages10
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 16 2018



  • Alcohol use
  • college students
  • housing type
  • protective behavioral strategies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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