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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Touro Researches Binge Drinking and Drinking and Driving among South Korean International College Students in the USA

According to the Institute of International Education, college enrolment of international students in the United States of America (USA) increased to a record high of 723,277 students in 2010–2011. Asian students account for the largest proportion (64 percent) and those from South Korea account for the third largest proportion (10 percent or 73,351) of the total international college student enrolment. To date, there is a paucity of data on binge drinking or drinking and driving among international college students on campuses in the USA.

Dr. Jaesin Sa (Photo for submission I)
[Photo: Dr. Jaesin Sa]

The purpose of this study was to investigate two risky behaviors (i.e. binge drinking and drinking and driving) and their individual- and college-level correlates among 1,201 South Korean international college students in the USA.

A total of 92 percent of the sample reported at least one occasion of binge drinking in the previous 30 days. Among those who had driven a motor vehicle in the previous 30 days (n = 950; 79 percent of the overall sample), 67 percent had engaged in drinking and driving. Students’ binge drinking was positively associated with current cigarette use and higher levels of life dissatisfaction at college and study-related stress. Students’ drinking and driving was also positively associated with higher levels of life dissatisfaction at college and study-related stress. These relationships were stronger among students attending private institutions than among those attending public institutions. While both college-level correlates (university region and university type) were significantly associated with drinking and driving, none of the college-level correlates were significant in the binge drinking models.

According to Dr. Jaesin Sa, a principal investigator and professor of public health at Touro University, “A very high proportion of South Korean international students attending colleges in the USA appears to engage in binge drinking and drinking and driving. Development of intervention programs designed specifically for them is necessary.”

The study has been published in the Health Education Journal. Co-authors of the study include Dr. Dong-Chul Seo at Ewha Womans University in South Korea, Dr. Toben Nelson at University of Minnesota, as well as Dr. David Lohrmann and Dr. Nancy Ellis at Indiana University.

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