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Consumer Behavior of Social Drinking in College

Autor:   •  January 11, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  4,750 Words (19 Pages)  •  1,039 Views

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This project will address the aspects of consumer behavior which occur involving social drinking in college. It is broken down into several different categories in an attempt to include as many pieces of the puzzle as possible to better understand these consumers. The goal of the paper is to answer questions like, “Why do college students drink?” What do they drink? How much is spent on alcohol? How does drinking affect them, their studies, etc.? Of course this is just a sampling of the questions asked and addressed, but first we must define the consumers to be analyzed. College students are typically between the ages of 18 and 24, although this is just a generalization which can be expanded +/- a year or so (Hingson, 2005). The 21 to 25 age group has the highest alcohol use rate of any adults, and the 18 to 21 sector is also a significant grouping, thus college students have a considerable proportion of people that drink within the population, as can be seen on the chart below (Do you have a problem with alcohol, 2008).

(Do you have a problem with Alcohol, 2008)

While there are precise statistics on the ratio of male versus female college attendants for this purpose that is unnecessary and it can be assumed that roughly half of the student population belongs to each group. Although the purpose is to look at social drinking, there will also be discussion of alcoholism, and binge drinking behaviors which in some college settings are similar to social drinking or are important factors to acknowledge.

Why do people drink in the first place? Social drinking can be defined as a casual manner of drinking which people use to relax and have social contact. For example, social drinking may be used to meet new friends or in dating. It is also known that alcohol can also help people express their wills and be more relaxed, thus it is common for alcohol to accompany meals or other forms of gatherings. Social drinking is the most common form of adult drinking in the United States as 58% of the adult population drinks "socially", 32% abstain from drinking alcohol altogether, and 12% are considered to be heavy drinkers. (Jackson, 1990)

Social drinking is a prevalent aspect of college life and is one way students typically associate with one another. Therefore, a large number of college students have experience drinking. According to the report, Sobering Statistics on College Drinking,

"73 percent of the students drink at least occasionally. Furthermore, the average male freshman, according to the Core Institute, which surveyed 33,379 undergrads (freshman) on 53 U.S. campuses in 2005, consumes 7.39 drinks - a bottle of beer, glass of wine, shot or mixed drink per week. Meanwhile, the average female consumes 3.86" (Burrel, XXX).

Clearly the consumption indicated in this study shows that drinking has become a major


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