Title

The party school" factor how messages about alcohol use at universities influence prospective students' perceptions "

Date of Award

2009

Degree Name

M.A. in Communication

Department

Department of Communication

Advisor/Chair

Advisor: Teresa L. Thompson

Abstract

This three-phase study was designed to determine what messages prospective students receive about alcohol use and partying at a university, how these messages affect who is most attracted to the university, and whether different types of university messages attract students with different characteristics. Interviews with first-year students at the University of Dayton (UD) revealed that most students heard messages about alcohol use and partying before deciding to attend. A survey of UD undergraduate students, which asked for retrospective reflection on their experiences as prospective students, found a significant correlation between having a positive view of UD after hearing these messages and being party- and alcohol-oriented, as measured by factors such as viewing partying as important, having the intention to drink alcohol in college, and having previous experiences of drinking to intoxication. A survey of high school students showed that a hypothetical university with many weekend activities and strong enforcement of drinking age laws is most attractive to prospective students. A party school" and a school with many activities but little law enforcement both attracted primarily party- and alcohol-oriented high school students, whereas a school with many activities and strong enforcement was attractive to all types of students. Post-secondary schools with "party school" reputations are encouraged to focus on weekend activity promotion and enforcement of alcohol laws to avoid continually attracting a concentration of heavy drinkers."

Keywords

University of Dayton Students Alcohol use, College students Alcohol use Ohio Dayton, Drinking of alcoholic beverages, College students Attitudes, College choice

Rights Statement

Copyright 2009, author

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