Alcohol consumption, problem drinking and anti-social behaviour in a sample of college students

Br J Addict. 1990 Apr;85(4):479-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.1990.tb01668.x.


A total of 125 male and 145 female students completed a written questionnaire (response rate 68%) on their consumption levels and patterns, problem drinking and vandalism and assaults associated with drinking, Prevalence of heavy drinking was broadly similar to that found in other college student samples in the UK with 25.6% of male students and 14.5% of female students drinking more than their safe limits of 35 and 21 units per week respectively. Six percent of male and one percent of female students exceeded the problem drinking threshold on the MAST. Twenty percent of the male students and 6% of the females admitted having caused at least some damage to property after having been drinking in the past 12 months. Four percent of males and 5% of females admitted 'minor' assaults. Fifty percent of males and 36% of females had witnessed damage to property and 19% of males and 10% of females had experienced some kind of assault. Vandalism and assaults were positively and independently associated with higher levels of consumption, reasons for drinking and patterns of drinking; in particular morning drinking appeared to play a role. Taking amount of drinking into account, males were more likely to commit acts of vandalism but females were more likely to commit assaults. The results reveal that alcohol-related, anti-social behaviour among students is a significant problem and that, while heavy drinking per se plays a role, other factors are also important.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / complications*
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / psychology
  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Problems / statistics & numerical data*