Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Research Blog #2: Scouting the Territory

I've decided to keep on with my original idea of alcohol abuse among college students. What I've found from searching is a multitude of scholarly articles about the subject, which tells me that this is a subject that has been researched a lot and that I should be able to find more than enough data to write about this topic.

One of the images I stumbled upon was a graph that showed a correlation between Greek/Off Campus housing and higher rates of drinking. This is something that I found an interest in. As someone that's lived in an on campus dorm, a fraternity house, and an off campus house, I found the graph to be rather relatable  to my own experiences. The setting of an on campus dorm and the authority figures (RAs, etc.) that are making sure you behave make it so that it will be much less likely that you'll drink. However, I also know that this doesn't stop most people and that many times the only way that people will be discouraged from drinking in dorms is when they face disciplinary action.

One of the most cited scholarly articles about this topic is called "Alcohol Abuse and Dependence Among U.S. College Students". This paper is based on a study of over 14,000 students at 119 different 4 year universities. The factual data that this paper contains should be a huge tool in creating a backbone of my argument based on verifiable facts.

Most people have come to the same conclusion about alcohol use in college: College students drink too much. This isn't a controversial topic. However, some of the ideas for ways to fix the problem are. For example, the national drinking age of 21 has long been disputed. Some people believe that exposing alcohol to youth earlier in life will remove some of the mystique of the drink, while others argue that keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors for as long as possible is the only way to keep them safe.

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