Study Links Coed Housing to Binge Drinking

November 17, 2009

A new study suggests that students in coeducational housing are much more likely to engage in binge drinking than are students who live in all-male or all-female housing. The study, appearing today in the Journal of American College Health, is based on data on more than 500 students at five colleges around the United States. The research found that 42 percent of students in coed housing reported binge drinking on a weekly basis, while only 18 percent of those in single-sex housing did so. The researchers discounted the idea that student self-selection may result in those likely to engage in binge drinking opting to live in mixed-sex housing. Their rationale is that most students living in single-sex housing didn't request to do so, but were placed there by campus officials when coed slots are filled. The study was conducted by Brian Willoughby, a visiting professor at Brigham Young University, and Jason Carroll, a professor there. The university noted that Brigham Young -- which bars drinking -- was not one of the colleges studied.

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