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ERIC Number: ED557508
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 339
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3039-9791-4
Being Smart and Social: The Lived Experience of High Achieving and Heavy Drinking College Students
Bachenheimer, Aaron
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, North Carolina State University
Studies showing the pervasiveness of college student drinking and the multitude of serious negative consequences as a result of this consumption have left researchers calling student abuse of alcohol "the single most serious public health problem confronting American colleges" (Wechsler, Dowdall, Maenner, Gledhill-Hoyt, & Lee, 1998, p. 57) and higher education professionals searching for a solution (Ham & Hope, 2003; Hingson et al., 2009; Osberg et al., 2010; Perkins, 2002a; Wechsler & Nelson, 2008; White & Hingson, 2014). Within the wide-ranging field of research on alcohol and college students, we have learned very little about the drinking experiences of high-ability students; specifically how they drink, why they drink, and what role drinking plays in their academic experience. What we do know is that while the majority of the heaviest drinkers in college struggle academically, there is a smaller but meaningful sub-set of high achievers that are part of the heavy drinking college culture (CORE Institute, 2006; Moss, Chen, & Yi, 2007). The purpose of this study was to describe and understand, through qualitative research methods and a phenomenological approach, the lived experience of high academic achieving and heavy drinking, traditionally aged college students, at a highly selective research university. The central research question that guided this study was what is the lived experience of college students who excel academically and engage in high-risk drinking behaviors? This study employed a qualitative phenomenological design approach. Through in-person interviews with academically successful and heavy drinking college students at a highly-selective private university, several key findings related to academic and social identities, motivation to drink, and the process by which these students navigate their lived experience as an academically successful, heavy drinking student. This study has contributed new insight into a little understood phenomenon and has allowed participants to contribute their voice to a field largely dominated by quantitative research. By engaging in a qualitative and phenomenological study into a subject area with far reaching health and academic implications, researchers and practitioners now have an expanded understanding of this unique sub-set of college students and the various goals, challenges, and needs that inform their experience. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A