Estimated Cost of Alcohol-Related Negative Consequences in College Students

Kim Parent


Heavy alcohol consumption has many deleterious effects among college students. This pattern of risky drinking often leads to alcohol-related negative consequences which result in repercussions for both the individual and the university. Whereas the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention estimates the cost associated with underage drinking as over $58 billion dollars a year, we aim to explore how this cost applies at an individual and university level. Thus, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the estimated costs associated with alcohol-related negative consequences. Specifically, this project will explore both the financial and academic costs (i.e., decreased academic achievement and/or involvement, property damage, hospitalization, criminal citations) incurred by the individual and their university. We will use the Young Adult Alcohol Consequences Questionnaire as a framework for the consequences that occur due to college student alcohol consumption1. Within this measure, there are eight categories which will be used to assess the costs of the alcohol-related negative consequences: social/interpersonal, academic/occupational, risky behavior, impaired control, poor self-care, diminished self-perception, blackout drinking, and physiological dependence. Finally, we will use the literature and public university financial records to estimate the financial and academic costs resulting from the various categories of consequences. The results of this study will be presented to quantitatively demonstrate the consequences of college student alcohol consumption.


alcohol; consequences; cost

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