The epidemiology of binge drinking among college-age individuals in the united states

Heather Krieger, Chelsie M. Young, Amber M. Anthenien, Clayton Neighbors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Rates of alcohol consumption continue to be a concern, particularly for individuals who are college age. Drinking patterns have changed over time, with the frequency of binge drinking (consuming four/five or more drinks for women/men) remaining high (30% to 40%). Young adults in the college age range are developmentally and socially at higher risk for drinking at binge levels. Changes in autonomy, parental control, norms, and attitudes affect binge drinking behaviors. This article reviews those changes, as well as the individual and environmental factors that increase or decrease the risk of participating in binge drinking behaviors. Risk factors include risky drinking events (e.g., 21st birthdays), other substance use, and drinking to cope, while protective factors include religious beliefs, low normative perceptions of drinking, and use of protective behavioral strategies. Additionally, this article discusses the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive consequences of consuming alcohol at binge levels. Alcohol policies and prevention and intervention techniques need to incorporate these factors to reduce experiences of alcohol-related problems. Targeting policy changes and prevention and intervention efforts toward young adults may increase effectiveness and prevent both short-and long-term consequences of binge drinking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1-e8
JournalAlcohol Research and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'The epidemiology of binge drinking among college-age individuals in the united states'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this