Alcohol Dependence Symptoms Among College Freshmen: Prevalence, Stability, and Person-Environment Interactions

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Abstract

College students are at risk for problematic alcohol use. Few studies, however, have examined alcohol dependence symptoms within a college sample. The current study assesses the prevalence, predictors, and stability of proxy Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) alcohol dependence symptoms among college freshmen. Participants were 3,720 freshmen taking part in a longitudinal study. Participants completed measures of alcohol use, fraternity and sorority membership, and behavioral undercontrol. Results revealed that alcohol dependence symptoms were prevalent and moderately stable among college freshmen. Both membership in a Greek organization and behavioral undercontrol predicted responses to our alcohol dependence proxy. In addition, Greek status interacted with behavioral undercontrol to predict alcohol dependence symptoms, such that Greek members high in behavioral undercontrol were especially vulnerable to symptoms of dependence.

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