College Parties and Alcohol Drinking Abuse

It's long been known that playing drinking games encourages the rapid consumption of large amounts of alcohol. Now research has demonstrated that college parties with sexualized themes or costumes may also encourage students to drink excessively.

The research team observed 66 private parties close to campus over a period of three semesters. In addition to noting the nature of the parties, the researchers also collected data on blood alcohol concentration (BAC). They found that at themed parties, women tended to drink more than men, a surprising finding they were unable to explain.

On the other hand, students who attended parties with the intention of socializing and those who attended larger parties tended to drink less than others.

The research team plans to extend its research into other environments such as bars.


  • Clapp, J. D., et al. Personal and environment predictors of blood alcohol concentrations: A multi-level study of college parties, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2008, 32(1), 100-107.