Freshman year alcohol and marijuana use prospectively predict time to college graduation and subsequent adult roles and independence

Emily R. Wilhite, James R. Ashenhurst, Elise N. Marino, Kim Fromme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: This study examined how freshman year substance use prospectively predicted time to college graduation, and whether delayed graduation predicted postponed adoption of adult roles and future substance use. Participants: Participants were part of a longitudinal study that began in 2004. The first analyses focused on freshman year (N = 2,050). The second analyses corresponded to a subset of participants at age 27 (N = 575). Methods: Measures included self-reported substance use, adult role adoption, and university reported graduation dates. Results: Results indicated that frequent binge drinking and marijuana use during freshman year predicted delayed college graduation. Those who took longer to graduate were more likely to have lower incomes and were less likely to obtain a graduate degree. Taking 5–6 years to graduate was associated with greater likelihood of alcohol-related problems. Conclusions: Findings support the importance of interventions during freshman year of college to decrease substance use and promote timely graduation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-422
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of American College Health
Volume65
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 18 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adult roles
  • binge drinking
  • college graduation
  • marijuana

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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