Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Substance Use & Misuse 53:5 (2018), pp. 724–733.

doi: 10.1080/10826084.2017.1363235


Copyright © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group. Used by permission.


Background: Though research has examined heavy drinking by housing type, the link between type of college student housing and protective behavioral strategies (PBS) has rarely been examined comparing different college campuses. Objectives: The purpose of this study is to examine the role of housing type, perceptions of peer drinking, and PBS with respondent heavy drinking among undergraduate college students from one Southeastern and one Midwestern university in the United States. Methods: 1,448 college students enrolled in undergraduate courses at two public universities completed a paper and pencil survey of attitudes and experiences about dating, sexuality, and substance use. Data were analyzed using multiple group path analysis. Results: Students living in Greek housing perceived their close friends as engaging in more risky drinking and had higher rates of heavy drinking compared to those living in other housing types. The effect of perceptions of peer drinking on PBS was significantly different between campuses, as were several other indirect pathways to heavy drinking. Conclusion/Importance: Understanding more about the differing roles of college residential environments can help inform effective drinking interventions and reduce heavy drinking among college students.