Binge vs. Moderate Drinking Behavior: A Situational Study

Open Access
Knaub, Julie Christine
Area of Honors:
Crime, Law, and Justice
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Julie Horney, Thesis Supervisor
  • Jeffery Todd Ulmer, Honors Advisor
  • binge
  • moderate
  • drinking
  • situational
  • alcohol
  • students
This thesis investigates various associations between the situational aspects of both binge drinking and drinking in moderation among Penn State undergraduate students. While previous studies have looked at the problem of binge drinking on college campuses as well as factors of specific drinking habits within this population, this study looks at such behaviors on an individual and event-based level to determine variations between these two different types of events. Using a survey unique to this study, students were asked to indicate such factors as the day of the week, the people present, and the location and type of each of the two events. Then using matched pair data, analyses were conducted and found that the longer an event, the more likely an individual will progress to binge drinking and when many drunk people are in attendance the relationship with binge drinking is true. In addition, the availability of food acts as a protective factor and decreases the likelihood that an individual will progress to binge drinking.