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Gender, Harassment and Drinking among College Students

7/10/10-3/31/16. R01 AA018138.  National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism/National Institute on Drug Abuse.

This web-based longitudinal cohort study followed nearly 3000 college students from Illinois colleges and universities at 6 points across 4 years of college. It extends past research on college student drinking by a) examining how patterns of harassment at school (SH) and work (WH), in the context of other school and life stressors, differentially contribute to drinking trajectories and problem drinking for women versus men college students, and b) applying a stressor-vulnerability model to examine how a variety of gender-linked risk and protective factors influence the relationships between WH and SH and other work, school, and life stressors and trajectories of problematic alcohol use (i.e., trajectories of increasing or chronically heavy use) over time.  We also examine the extent to which the effects of WH and SH on drinking and drug use are mediated by symptoms of depression and anxiety, differentially by gender. This was the first study to include WH and SH as potential predictors of alcohol use in the context of other school, work, and life stressors, and to incorporate these measures into person-centered latent growth mixture models of drinking trajectories.  This project contributes to the knowledge base about predictors of underage drinking, specifically the individual, school, and workplace issues that may place female students at particular risk for problematic drinking in response to stress.