Alcohol use among college students has received nationwide recognition as a public health concern. The primary aim of this study was to explore students’ opinions of when drinking crosses the line from acceptable to unacceptable. This study used qualitative methods to: (a) examine unappealing aspects of drinking by relationship type (potential dating partner, friend, self), and (b) determine whether this differs by gender. Interviews were conducted with 78 college students who violated campus alcohol policy. The semistructured interview included open-ended questions related to reactions to others’ excessive drinking. Qualitative analyses revealed that college males and females find lack of control as unappealing, including lack of physical, verbal, and sexual control. More females than males indicated negative perceptions of self and same-sex friends who displayed poor sexual control. Future research might also consider integration of themes in measures of negative expectancies and consequences to more accurately capture unappealing aspects of college drinking behavior.


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pp. 63-74
Launched on MUSE
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