KSU drinking survey sees few changes

Simon Husted

Credit: DKS Editors

Studies by health researchers at Kent State have shown a sustaining – if not decreasing – trend of heavy episodic, or binge, drinking from students. The results come as Residence Services and university officials continue to strengthen policies against alcohol abuse on campus.

Scott Olds, professor of social and behavior sciences, has surveyed 800 to 900 undergraduate students about their alcohol consumption habits each year since 2006.

“The trend has remained fairly stable or flat,” Olds said. “There have been years where the numbers have ticked up or down, but over the course of the nine years I’d think if you’d plot them on a graph, you wouldn’t find a whole lot of variation.”

Olds changed his survey method to exclusively online in 2006, away from his former personal method, which he said was encountering difficulties gathering volunteers. The change, he said, may account for the large differences between 2004 and 2006.

Below is a graph outlining Olds’ findings between 2000 to 2004 and 2006 to 2009. No data was collected for 2005. The data has a margin error of 3 percent.

Simon Husted