The literature indicates that protective behavioral strategies (PBS) have been effective in addressing problem drinking among college students. However, the effects of PBS on problem drinking have not been thoroughly investigated among Korean college students. Thus, the two study aims were to (a) examine drinking behavior among Korean college students and (b) investigate the effects of PBS on problem drinking.
A pilot study was first conducted to obtain information needed to determine a sample size and to examine the understandability and reliability of seven instruments. The instruments were then used to collect data from full-time college students (N = 479). The data were analyzed using (a) descriptive statistics such as frequencies and means for the first aim and (b) multivariate logistic regression for the second aim.
Approximately 93% of the respondents had drunk alcohol during the month before the survey, and 72.7% were problem drinkers. The use of PBS significantly decreased the odds of problem drinking (odds ratio [OR] = 0.90 [95% CI, 0.87–0.93]). In addition, male gender and positive alcohol expectancy were associated with increased odds of problem drinking (ORs = 3.32 [95% CI, 1.59–6.94] and 1.04 [95% CI, 1.01–1.08]), whereas greater age of drinking onset was associated with decreased odds of problem drinking (OR = 0.81 [95% CI, 0.70–0.94]).
Given the prevalence of the drinking problem among Korean college students, it is important to develop and implement interventions that will encourage students to use PBS in order to avoid problem drinking and its negative consequences.