Good Purpose Of The Study Dissertation Proposal Example
Participants/Population for Study
Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance among college students (Wechsler, Lee, Kuo, & Lee, 2000).
It is estimated that 80% of college students consume alcohol, and 50% of those who consume alcohol abuse it through binge drinking (National Institutie of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIAAA, 2013).
Alcohol abuse inhibits academic, social, and psychological functions, but prevention strategies are not utilized and college students are less likely to receive treatment compared to non-students (Blanco et al., 2008).
The purpose of this study is to understand which personal and environmental factors are positively associated with excessive alcohol intake among college students so that appropriate screening and prevention strategies can be planned.
How does excessive alcohol use compare to other illicit substance use in the student population?
How is alcohol consumption different based on education status and the level of educational attainment?
How are alcohol consumption levels different among students from different states?
How does alcohol abuse differ based on the ethnicity of the students?
How do full-time students compare to part-time students in terms of alcohol consumption?
How are socioeconomic factors associated with alcohol consumption?
How does the employment status of college students affect alcohol consumption?
How does personal history affect alcohol use in college students?
How does mental health affect alcohol consumption in college students?
How does peer pressure affect alcohol consumption in college students?
RQ1-H1: Excessive alcohol use will be more prevalent among college students than illicit substance use, which includes marijuana, crack, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives.
RQ2-H1: Individuals with a higher education level (4+ year college) at any age will more likely report drinking at least once and report drinking more frequently than individuals with a lower level of academic achievement.
RQ2-H2: College students between the ages of 18 and 22 will more likely report excessive alcohol use and binge drinking compared to other populations.
RQ3-H1: Students from states with higher student concentrations, such as California, Florida, Georgia, Texas, New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts, consume more alcohol than students from other states.
RQ4-H1: There are no significant differences in alcohol consumption among student ethnic groups.
RQ5-H1: Full-time students are more likely to consume more alcohol compared to part-time students.
RQ6-H1: Household composition and household income are inversely associated with excessive alcohol consumption.
RQ7-H1:Unemployed students are more likely to engage in excessive alcohol consumption than employed college students.
RQ8-H1: Stressful events experienced in youth and a history of criminal behavior are positively associated with alcohol consumption.
RQ9-H1: Students with a history of mental illness will more likely engage in excessive alcohol consumption than students without a history of mental illness.
RQ10-H1: Students exposed to peer pressure are more likely to develop excessive alcohol consumption and engage in binge drinking than students who are not exposed to peer pressure.
RQ10-H2: Students familiar with alcohol-related issues through education will more likely resist excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking in spite of peer pressure compared to students who did not receive similar educational classes.
Given the self-reported nature of the data and the sensitive nature of substance abuse topics, it is assumed that the participants answered the questions honestly because of the anonymous nature of the survey.
Although the cross-sectional data does not allow the researcher to infer causal conclusions, it is assumed that the data provides an accurate representation of college students’ alcohol use habits.
According to Johnston and O'Malley (1986) most common self-reported for substance use in college include:
Other reasons associated with higher predispositions to engage in excessive alcohol use in college students include:
Cultural beliefs and ethnic identity (Oshodin, 1982; Zamboanga, Raffaeli, & Horton, 2006)
Gender (Crum, Muntaner, Eaton, & Anthony, 1995)
High group identity (Rimal & Mollen, 2013)
Coping with stress (Schwartz et al., 2010)
Social support availability (Kawachi & Berkman, 2001)
Socioeconomic factors (Li & Burmeister, 2010)
Alcohol abuse risk factors identified in college students:
Low social support increases risk for alcohol abuse in college students as a detrimental stress coping strategy (Steptoe, Wardle, Pollard, Canaan, & Davies, 1996; Weitzman & Chen, 2005)
Male college students are more likely to engage in alcohol consumption for socialization and coping purposes than female college students (Cooper, Russell, Skinner, Frone, & Mudar, 1992)
High group or ethnic identity increases alcohol consumption when excessive alcohol intake is acceptable and/or expected within the group (Zamboanga et al., 2006)
Low socioeconomic status, such as low household income, increases risk for excessive alcohol consumption (Eisenberg, Golberstein, & Gollust, 2007)
People from collectivistic cultures are more likely to resort to indirect stress coping, such as alcohol abuse, than people from individualistic cultures and rarely seek help or counseling (Triandis, McCusker, & Hui, 1990)
The detrimental effects of alcohol have been well-documented and include:
Driving under the influence (25% self-reported; Perkins, 2002)
Verbal or physical aggression (30% self-reported; Perkins, 2002)
Poor academic performance (Aertgeerts & Buntinx, 2002)
The most effective interventions for alcohol abuse in college students include mindfullness training, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and educational classes (Conley, Durlak, & Dickson, 2013)
Although the appropriate alcohol abuse treatment strategies have been identified in college students, preventive strategies are rarely used and may not succeed if they fail to address the underlying causes of alcohol abuse.
Alcohol abuse: excessive and recurring use of alcohol despite the negative consequences experienced (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013)
Binge drinking: a drinking pattern that increases blood alcohol concentration to 0.08 g/dL, which happens within 2 hours after four drinks for females and after five drinks for males (NIAAA, n.d.)
This section addresses:
The population selected for the study
Research design and statistical analyses
Instrumentation and variables measured
PARTICIPANTS/POPULATION FOR STUDY
The targeted population are students in the United States between 18 and 22 years of age.
The subgroups within this population will be established based on the following variables:
No risks are associated with this study due to:
The archival nature of the data
The anonymous nature of the survey, which did not collect personally identifiable information
Retrospective design using cross-sectional public data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, 2013 (NSDUH 2013).
Parametric tests will be conducted to determine whether the differences in alcohol consumptions between groups are significant:
Two-tailed t-tests will be used to determine how alcohol drinking frequency is different between two groups
ANOVA will be used when more than two groups are compared (e.g., effect of ethnicity on alcohol consumption frequency)
Logistic regression will be used to determine the odds ratio for binge drinking because the outcome in that case is binary.
Instrumentation: self reported measurements
The NSDUH 2013 collected a total of 3,141 variables, but only the variables pertinent to the research questions were selected
3 variables for all substances (use frequency in last week, 30 days, and 12 months)
Personal history (traumatic events and criminal history)
Socioeconomic status (household income and composition)
Familiarity (received educational classes regarding substance abuse)
The complete dataset from the NSDUH 2013 survey is available from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) for SAS, SPSS, Stata, and R statistical software.
Alcohol abuse is a dangerous health risk behavior among college students that leads to other health risk behaviors and inhibits daily activities.
This study will provide a comprehensive overview of factors associated with alcohol abuse using a nationally representative sample so that future interventions aimed at alcohol abuse prevention can be more targeted and successful.
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