Children, Youth, Families & Schools, Nebraska Center for Research on


Document Type


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of American College Health, 2023



Copyright © 2023 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC . Used by permission.


Objective: Much is known about how alcohol increases the risk of sexual assault or intimate partner violence victimization during college. This research qualitatively explores perceptions about how alcohol influences disclosures about these events to informal supports.

Participants: Participants included college students who received a disclosure wherein they or the survivor were drinking during the disclosure (n = 81).

Methods: Responses were coded with regard to who was drinking and whether the effect of drinking during the disclosure was perceived as positive, negative, mixed, or neutral/none.

Results: Participants perceived alcohol to have both positive (e.g., increasing the likelihood of discussing difficult topics) and negative (e.g., cognitive impairment increased negative emotions) effects on disclosures.

Conclusion: Prevention and intervention efforts should identify targeted strategies (e.g., remembering one or two easy and helpful phrases; revisiting the topic again while sober) to help survivors and disclosure recipients have constructive conversations in the presence of alcohol.