Tuesday, August 21, 2012

College Binge Drinkers Happier Have High Status

College binge drinkers say they’re happier with their social lives than those who don’t indulge – but it’s probably the boost in social status, not the booze itself that lifts their mood, according to new research presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Binge drinking is a symbolic proxy for high status in college,” said study co-author Carolyn Hsu, an associate professor of sociology at Colgate University in a statement, noting that it’s what the wealthy, powerful and happy students on campus do.


The study found that rich white frat boys reported having the greatest social satisfaction at school and were considered the big men on campus by others. They were not only happier than students in low-status groups – women, minorities and people who were less financially well-off – but also more likely to binge drink. “Binge drinking then becomes associated with high status and the ‘cool’ students on campus,” said Hsu.

Low-status students in turn reported being happier if they binged than if they didn’t. Indeed, alcohol seemed to be the great social equalizer, bringing members of low-status groups to happiness levels similar to those of greater social power if they binged. “Students in all groups consistently liked college more when they participated in the campus’ binge drinking culture,” Hsu said. Since the study has not yet been subjected to peer review, its findings should be considered preliminary.

The research was conducted at a selective Northeastern liberal arts college in 2009, involving survey responses from 1,595 students, nearly 60% of the school’s student body. “Drinking culture is campus specific,” Hsu noted. “But our results suggest that binge drinking and social satisfaction may also be very much associated at similar predominantly white colleges with high binge drinking rates, a large Greek presence and a residential campus.”

College Binge Drinkers Happier Have High Status Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Arm Aritn

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