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The five types of college drinkers

Jenna Johnson

A new study of college drinkers has found that about two-thirds of students binge drink on a weekly basis -- for a guy, that means chugging five drinks in two hours. For women, it's four drinks. On average, students said they did so about twice a week.

Okay, so maybe that's old news.

But here's something that caught my eye in a news release about the study (which was paid for by the Ad Council and The Century Council): A breakdown of the different types of drinkers, complete with nicknames.

Captains of Control
A quarter of students reported that they are "future focused, responsible and in control," so they consume the fewest number of drinks at one time or in a typical week. More than two-thirds of these students say they rarely or never end up drunk.

Malleable Moderate
Of those surveyed, 23 percent reported being "adaptable, persuadable and laid back." They go out less often than some drinkers, but when they do, they drink a lot. After all, these are the students who came to college "with an agenda to let loose and have fun." Nearly half said that they sometimes end up drunk -- and they can be peer pressured.

Savvy Sippers
Twenty-one percent of students are "steady, cautious and sensible." They like to go out, but they don't consume many drinks. They are less likely to pre-game than other drinker types and only half sometimes get drunk.

Easily Swayed Swiggers
Eighteen percent of drinkers are "extroverted, agreeable and easily influenced, tending to skew toward the younger college male population." They go out a lot because being part of a group is super important. Drinking helps them fit in -- even when they don't feel like drinking. They binge drink about three times a week, and 38 percent always or often end up drunk.

Copious Confidents
The smallest segment of students -- 12 percent -- say they are "directed, experienced and self-assured." Usually they are older males and the leaders of a group. They frequently go out and have the highest consumption rates. They binge drink about four times a week, and 44 percent say they always or often end up drunk.

Other interesting findings:

* 30% of college students define drinking "too much" as going out too many nights per week. 22% define it as drinking too much at one time. And 47% said both.

* 44% said the next day's obligations extremely influenced how much they drank. 13% said the same for peer pressure.

* 47% of students said drink specials led to over-consumption. 46% cited reunions with friends from out of town.

The research was commissioned by the Ad Council and The Century Council, which is funded by the distillery industry. Researchers focused on full-time college students in Boston, Indiana and Colorado. The students, who are between 18 and 24, reported drinking at least once a week.

Campus Overload is a daily must-read for all college students. Make sure to bookmark http://washingtonpost.com/campus-overload. You can also follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  | October 15, 2010; 4:50 PM ET
Categories:  Night Life  | Tags:  Binge Drinking  
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Next: Four Loko --'blackouts-in-a-can'-- banned by NJ college

Comments

Those aged 18-24 are also adults and not "kids" or "teens", meaning they shouldn't be called those words. It's good that 25% of young women and young men in university classify as "Captains of Control" however the other young women and young men do much more binge drinking than that classification. The organization, Choose Responsibility, where I comment on their blog everytime an article is submitted, has a solution which would significantly decrease binge drinking among young women and young men.

Posted by: LibertyForAll | October 16, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

The best natural protection for morning after and long term health risks to social drinkers is Cheerz IntelliShot and iTabs (google it).

Posted by: samantha22 | October 17, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

The purpose of the study cited was to learn more about the attitudes and behaviors of college binge drinkers in an effort to find messaging that might prove effective in reducing this dangerous overconsumption. To accomplish this, the study does not take into account all college students but concentrates only on students who reported going out socially at least twice per week and reported drinking at least once per week.

Attacking this problem requires efforts on multiple fronts beyond student communications including enforcement of the current minimum drinking age law for those under twenty-one.

Posted by: MaureenDalbec | October 20, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

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