Saturday, April 24, 2010

Blog #15 - Abstract and Bibliography

Binge drinking has become a nationwide problem among colleges and universities everywhere. Despite various prevention efforts, and numerous clubs and activities found at universities, binge drinking among college students is still a common problem. One form of intervention which has gained attention by researchers and colleges alike is social norms campaigns. Social norms campaigns promote moderate drinking to college students. Statistics of the university's drinking are posted in newspaper ads, posters, the internet, or anywhere that will receive attention from students. Through this promotion, students will become more aware of other students' drinking and decrease their own. For some universities, this form of intervention has been an effective way of dealing with binge drinking. For other universities, it has not. Yet, despite the mixed results of these social norms programs, a community based effort must be made. Stricter laws, increased enforcement from police, and decreased availability of alcohol will all help to reduce binge drinking, especially among underage students.

- Gladwell, Malcolm. "Drinking Games." The New Yorker. Google, 15 and 22 Feb. 2010. Web. 22 Feb. 2010.

- Lederman, Linda C. and Lea P. Stewart. Changing the Culture of College Drinking. Hampton Press: Cresskill, 2005. Print.

- Neighbors, Clayton, Christine, M. Lee, and Melissa A. Lewis. "Are Social Norms the Best Predictor of Outcomes among Heavy-Drinking College Students?" Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 68.4 (2007): 556-65. Print.

- Russell, Cristel Antonia, John D. Clapp, and William DeJong. “Done 4: Analysis of a Failed Social Norms Marketing Campaign.” Health Communication 17.1 (2005): 57-65. Print.

- Stewart, Lea P. Personal Interview. 20 Apr. 2010.

- Turner, James, H.W. Perkins, and Jennifer Bauerle. “Declining Negative Consequences Related to Alcohol Misuse among Students Exposed to a Social Norms Marketing Intervention on a College Campus.” Journal of American College Health 57.1 (2008): 85-94. Print.

- “Underage Alcohol Use: Where Do Young People Drink?” NSDUH: Report Series (2008). Lexis Nexis. Web. 25 March 2010.

- Wechsler, Henry and Bernice Wuethrich. Dying to Drink: Confronting Binge Drinking on College Campuses. n.p., Rodale, 2002. Print.

- Weitzman, Elissa R., Toben F. Nelson, and Henry Wechsler. “Taking Up Binge Drinking in College: The Influences of Person, Social Group, and Environment.” Journal of Adolescent Health 32.1 (2003): 25-35. Print.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blog #14: Your Story

Throughout the semester, my research has changed dramatically. I originally thought that I would be writing about the arts in some way, but gradually moved toward alcohol related issues. At first, I considered the topic of changing the current drinking age, but became more focused on binge drinking at college and why students do it. This eventually evolved into my present research topic of the effectiveness of social norms programs to prevent binge drinking among students.

Although I knew most students drank, I did not realize the extent of binge drinking on college campuses until I started reading the statistics. It also made me more conscious of the prevention programs that were being implemented at college universities, including Rutgers (like the RU Sure).

As a writer, I think I have learned that you need to keep an open mind when researching a topic you aren't familiar with. I also learned that you need to be clear and concise in your writing and not go in circles. Ultimately, some sort of conclusion has to result from the writing.

Blog #13: Visual Aids

The two images show how many full-time college students binge drink or drink heavily.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Blog #12 - The Outline

I. Is social campaigning on college campuses an effective way of dealing with binge drinking?

A. Introduction
1. stats to show that binge drinking is a problem; include definition of binge drinking
2. results to show that social influences are a strong determining factor to binge drinking (Neighbors)
3. Introduce what social marketing is. Comes from social norms theory (explain what this is and where it comes from).
4. State Thesis. Should not be used because it is not convincing or effective for students.

B. Those who believe social norms programs are an effective way of dealing with college binge drinking.
1. (Perkins article). Students became exposed to messages and posters that emphasized healthy, responsible drinking habits. Meant to correct misconceptions about the amount of alcohol students drink and how often they drink, and promote safe behaviors when drinking (like not leaving a friend alone if passed out or drunk driving).
a. messages were placed on posters, in newspapers, and in ads.
b. was originally for freshman, but spread to rest of undergraduates
c. helped dramatically reduce negative consequences resulting from drinking as well as blood alcohol levels. The more often students saw these messages, the more their alcohol related consequences decreased.
i. “The proportion of students reporting no consequences increased substantially from 33% in 2001 to 51% in 2006, whereas the prevalence of multiple consequences declined from 44% to 26% in the same time frame” (89).
2. RU Sure campaign: acts as case.

C. Those who don’t believe social norms programs are an effective way of dealing with college binge drinking
1. Students may ignore it; advertisement is not clear. Cannot distinguish purpose. (Russell: Done Four Project)
a. May think it’s another zero-tolerance message. (Wechsler)
2. Is not an easy fix to college drinking behavior. Drinking behavior is ingrained within the college culture. (Malcolm Gladwell)
3. Hard to address typical college student when there are so many different types.
4. Statistics may be faulty or presented in a misleading way. (RU Sure campaign)
5. Answer to Thesis: social norms programs are not effective

D. Solutions: ways to prevent college binge drinking right now
1. enforce rules and regulations more strictly, esp. underage drinking
2. limit access to bars and restaurants where underage drinkers could gain access; make sure alcohol is not being sold at cheap prices to students
a. “wet” environment are prominent around college campuses (Taking Up Binge Drinking…Influences of Person, Social Group, and Environment)
b. students who are exposed to this wet environment are more likely to binge drink (Weitzman, Nelson, and Wechsler)
3. new housing at colleges that promotes “dry” environment or enforce rules in college housing (fraternities and sororities).
4. More research for more consistent results

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Blog #11 - The Case

My case to support my topic would be to examine statistics about Rutgers students who have been binge drinking (from the alcohol studies library on Busch).

Questions I am looking for in my research may include:

- How many students at Rutgers have been binge drinking recently (within the last ten years)?

- Have any students become heavy drinkers when they entered college? If yes, why did this happen (why not in high school)? Have any students at Rutgers become addicted?

- Which students tended to drink more? Was there a particular group of people who did?

Another idea for my case would be to interview a faculty member at Rutgers from the 1980s, when the drinking age was 18. Questions I could ask would be:

- What was the environment like when students could drink on campus, like at the student center? Was it a party atmosphere?

- What was the behavior of the students? Was there a lot of drinking?

- Did professors drink with students? Was this ever a problem?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blog #10- The Debate

The debate I have identified is why binge drinking is prominent, specifically with college students, and the causes behind binge drinking. Each of my causes for binge drinking is supported by an author(s).

- binge drinking is apart of college culture (Malcolm Gladwell) and the environment around college encourages drinking (Weitzman, Elissa R., Toben F. Nelson, and Henry Wechsler)

- social norms encourage students to drink because they are copying how much other students drink (Weitzman, Elissa R., Toben F. Nelson, and Henry Wechsler) and students even exceed their drinking limits because of this (Jones, L. B.)

- students only consider themselves to be problem drinkers if a serious consequence occurs (Eshbaugh, Elaine M.) and students may not be problem drinkers at all; the theory behind binge drinking in college is unrealistic (Straus, Robert, Selden D. Bacon)

**Note: my counter arguments (how binge drinking has been dealt with in the past and present) will strengthen my argument about why binge drinking is still a problem in colleges today. Also, the Robert Straus resource will probably be replaced.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Blog #9

Since I changed my argument to the causes of binge drinking instead of a new drinking age, I feel that I have a strong foundation for my paper. I feel I have strong reasons for my paper and have found some adequate sources.

However, I want to make sure I have enough to talk about for my paper and can expand on my reasoning. I think my research proposal covered a lot of what I will talk about, but more should be discussed for my paper.

I also want to make sure my argument is specific enough for a thought out debate and my scholarly book is appropriate and up to date; I'm considering getting another book for more recent research.

And if any suggestions can be made about the kinds of questions I should ask the dean for the alcohol studies department (for my primary source) it would be appreciated.