Alcohol use among college students : a study of peer influence and overestimation of social norm

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Gilla, Mette
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BA (Hons) in Social Science
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this dissertation is to find the relationship between level of alcohol use such as excessive alcohol use and peer influence. Alcohol use is a widely discussed topic. Alcohol use will be presented in a general view from figures shown World Wide from WHO (2011) to a closer view of Ireland and alcohol use shown in Survey of Lifestyle, Attitudes and Nutrition (SLAN) Survey (Morgan et al, 2009). Much of the literature found focuses on problems related to alcohol such as alcohol abuse, violence, criminal behaviour and health risks. Seen in the study Wechsler, Dowdall, Davenport and Castillo (1995) evidence clearly states that binge drinking is associated with higher risks of acute health risks such as serious injury, unsafe sex, assault and aggressive behaviour. This dissertation however will show a somewhat different approach in finding the level of alcohol use among college students, often excessive use depending on level of peer influence and what difference results will show for different gender, age and ethnic groups. Author keywords: Alcohol use, young adults, college students, peer influence, gender, social norms