Graduate project

A survey on drinking behavior among hearing impaired students at the California State University, Northridge

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reported in 1976 that 87 to 93% of all college students drink alcohol. "Alcohol Drinking" is widely accepted today as the most popular "pastime" on college campuses. According to Burguess (1973), alcoholism usually begins with social drinking. The college campus provides a special type of social environment in which the consumption of alcoholic beverages is often expected and where the peer pressure always seems to be present. To date, there have been no studies conducted on drinking behavior, and/or knowledge by deaf and hearing impaired* college students about alcohol and �its effects. Studies on drinking behavior and alcohol among minority groups suggest that as members of minority groups assimilate they tend to adopt majority drinking patterns. However, the behavior of hearing impaired minority group members who consume alcohol has not been studied (Grant, Kramer, and Nash, 1982; Jorgensen, 1982; Rothfeld, 1981; Boros, 1979; Gorey, 1979; Hetherington, 1979). This research study was designed to elicit information regarding behaviors and knowledge among hearing impaired students at the California State University, Northridge (CSUN) about alcohol and its effects. Areas investigated were: frequency and quantity of alcohol imbibed; types of beverages consumed; knowledge of alcohol and its effects; reasons for drinking; the available counseling resources; and personal and family history related to alcohol use. The data consists of responses to a questionnaire from 57 hearing impaired students who attended CSUN during Spring 1982. Students reported small quantities of alcohol consumed and a low frequency of use. Female respondents stated a greater use of wine and mixed drinks as opposed to beer while males stated an equal consumption of all three types mentioned above. Students' scores reflected a limited knowledge of alcohol and its effects. Females indicated that the three most common reasons for drinking were "the taste," "for fun," and with meals," while reasons reported by males were: "to relax," "for the_ taste," and "for fun." Regarding the available counseling resources most female students would approach Alcoholic Anonymous or a friend whereas males preferred Alcoholic Anonymous, the Support Services for the Deaf Students counselor, and the Student Health Center on campus. In terms of personal and family history, respondents reported a higher incidence of male family members having drinking problems as compared with female family members. A discussion of methodology and analysis of this study are presented and evaluated in this report.

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