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Binge Drinking

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College Students and Their Awareness of Binge Drinking

I have just been awarded $20,000 by the National Institute of Health to conduct a study on one of the growing health-risk behaviors among college students in the state of Florida. I am going to propose a survey based on how much students truly know about binge drinking. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that affects every organ in the body. It is quickly absorbed from the stomach and poured into the bloodstream. The intensity of the effect the alcohol causes on the body is determined by the amount of alcohol consumed. Everyone can have different reactions and repercussions when drinking alcohol. Some people get angry, some get sad, happy, tired, wild, or depressed. Since alcohol is an erratic drug, the outcome of drinking will constantly change and many factors will affect this outcome. Binge drinking is another word for heavy episodic drinking. Both can be defined as drinking alcoholic with the primary intention of becoming heavily intoxicated. Binge drinking is closely associated with social drinking and is often performed in groups. Binge drinkers drink a lot and drink it fast to feel a sooner and more powerful effect. This is the most common patter of excessive alcohol use throughout the United States. “The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a persons blood alcohol concentration to 0.08 grams or above.” When men consumer 5 or more drinks and when women consume 4 or more drinks in about 2 hours they will feel the effect of this heavy episodic drinking. Social media websites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter serve as evidence this binge drinking is very common among college students. Extreme stories serve as proof college kids are out of control, getting drunker and higher than generations before. Each year alcohol is held responsible for many serious injuries, assaults, arrests and deaths related with college students. In my study I would propose a survey to different colleges throughout different states to see students knowledge about alcohol consumption. Does where you live play a role on alcohol consumption? Or what about the strictness of your parents growing up? Are these children only trying to rebel? Or is it just to fit in? I would make sure this survey is anonymous because if surveying face to face with an underage drinker, one may not be as honest because they do not know or trust the surveyor with this information. Surveys provide a high level of general capability, which results in representing a large population. With such high reliability needed the researchers own biases are eliminated. I would set this survey up on a computer because it allows students to hide their identity behind a screen and allows them to open up and provide honest information. Also making this survey capable of being online will result in low costs and convenience for both the surveyor and the contestant. Another benefit of making this survey available online is that it will allow me to collect data from students around the globe, who attend colleges in all different states and areas. When preforming sociological research it is important to know what demographic characteristics your participants should require. Considering diversity in the audience you wish to study will result in a more accurate result then focusing in on specifics such as gender, race, etc. When focusing a study on the knowledge of binge drinking with college kids I would prefer to focus in on students the ages of 18-20. When turning 21 one is now legal to consume and trusted to be fully aware of the effects it comes hand in hand with. When you are only 18-20 and consuming alcohol, ones brain is not fully developed and discussions can be altered based on the thought of being “popular” or “fitting in”. I would distribute my survey in states throughout the country to find out is it certain areas that participate more in binge drinking? Does the climate have an effect of this activity or is it just distributed throughout America. I would like this survey to be distributed to 3 major universities and state colleges in every state, but different areas. For example, when surveying in New York I would choose New York University, Buffalo State College and Hofstra University to provide a city like, suburban like and urban like college atmosphere. Due to the low cost of surveying online I believe that this will be possible. I would like these surveys to be taken with a variety of students preferably in a class of 200-300. This allows the sample size to be large, providing more honesty and accuracy. Binge drinking has resulted in so many bad outcomes are students fully aware that this can happen to them. Some here of these stories but still think they are invincible. Death caused by binge drinking can happen to anyone. Arrests due to underage drinking at a social event are common with all genders and races not just targeted to someone specific. The questions I would propose in this experiment would be along the lines of; 1- Do you think underage drinking is a serious problem or something that is looked upon to seriously? 2- do you think social media plays as an influence alcohol use among minors under age 21? 3- Do you have a fake ID? 4- Were your parents strict about underage drinking prior college when you were living with them? 5- Do you even like the taste, effects or day after effects of alcohol or do you participate in drinking due to social benefits? Along with a few more questions. The hypothesis I would propose with this survey is that; If students feel they will fit in socially when drinking then they will consume more alcohol then they prefer because of the feeling provided when “fitting in” or “being cool”. Another hypothesis I would propose would be is; If parents were very strict and on top of their kids when growing up in high school, then these students will go to college with the thought of rebelling a will drink more and act out and because they are away from their usual supervision and feel they are “unstoppable”. An independent variable is what is varied throughout the experiment. The investigator thinks that this is the variable that will affect the dependent variable. The dependent variable is what will be measured. The investigator thinks this variable will be affected throughout the experiment. In a survey there is not an independent variable and dependent variable clearly stated. But with the proposal of my hypothesis’s one could be created. In hypothesis number one, If students feel they will fit in socially when drinking then they will consume more alcohol then they prefer because of the feeling provided when “fitting in” or “being cool” the independent variable is drinking alcohol and the dependent variable is if it makes students feel they fit in with the crowd. In hypothesis number two If parents were very strict and on top of their kids when growing up in high school, then these students will go to college with the thought of rebelling a will drink more and act out and because they are away from their usual supervision and feel they are “unstoppable” the independent variable is the way these students were brought up and how strict there parents were at home. The dependent variable is the feeling of rebellion when getting drunk against parents will. When a party goes wild and students are left with the decision of what to do with the drunken kid unconscious and laying on the floor ethical concerns begin to come into play. Should one call the EMT or not is a major concern in these partier’s heads. Most of the time they are as well under the influence, or if not them witnessing underage drinking or other illegal activities can put them in the wrong also. Do they risk their possibility of ending up in trouble or do they worry more about the person lying on the floor and the possibility of them not waking up. Another ethical concern college kids tend to have with the relationship of alcohol is deciding when there is a limit to the pictures posted on social media. Do they want to show off the fun they had this weekend, the awesome party they went to, and how much they drank or are they more concerned with their future, the reason most of them are going to college, and save those pictures for private and not to be released on the internet for all to see. Also a major ethical concern when being under the influence is how far you are willing to go. Alcohol alters your state of decision-making, and sometimes the morals that you have and wish to contain. When under the influence it is more common to be persuaded into sexual activities you would have not been for if you were completely sober. All of these concerns amongst more are due to the effect of alcohol and the role it plays on the college society today. With the information I have provided and the reasoning for this experiment I hope the National Institute of Health can provide me with the $20,000 to conduct this study on one of the major growing health-risk behaviors among college students in the state of Washington, binge drinking. This is a continuous problem for teenagers and they need to fully be aware of the repercussions built in with drinking alcohol.

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