Drinking, Social Abstaining, and Refusing Invitations: Demographic Differences Persist Across College

Kaylin M. Greene, Jennifer L. Maggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Alcohol use and misuse are prevalent on many college campuses. The current study examined participation in college environments where alcohol is present and being consumed. We documented students’ alcohol consumption, social abstaining (i.e., attending an alcohol-present event, but not drinking), and refusing invitations to drinking events. We tested for differences by parental education, immigrant status, race–ethnicity, and gender. We charted longitudinal change across college. Methods: First-year students attending a large public US university (n = 681, 18% first-generation college student, 16% first-generation immigrant, 73% racial–ethnic minority group member, 51% women) were recruited and followed longitudinally for 7 semesters. Each semester, students completed up to 14 daily surveys; responses were aggregated to the semester level (n = 4,267). Results: Multilevel logistic regression models demonstrated that first-generation college students were less likely to drink and refuse invitations to drinking events than students with a college-educated parent (Adjusted Odds Ratios [AORs]: 0.66, 0.72, respectively). Similarly, first-generation immigrants were less likely to drink, socially abstain, and refuse invitations (AORs: 0.58 to 0.73). Compared with White students, Black and Asian American students were less likely to drink (AORs: 0.55, 0.53) and refuse invitations to drinking events (AORs: 0.68, 0.66). The proportion of days spent drinking increased across college, and refusing invitations was the most common at the start and end of college. Conclusions: First-generation college students, first-generation immigrant students, and Black and Asian students participated less in prodrinking environments during college. These findings indicate that on drinking and nondrinking days, students’ participation in alcohol-present situations differed by background. Furthermore, our results indicate that the students who are most likely to refuse invitations to drinking events are the same students who drink most frequently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-211
Number of pages9
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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