The study examined associations between type of drinking location and alcohol use in a national sample of New Zealand university students. We conducted a cross-sectional web-based survey with random sampling of 17- to 24-year-old undergraduates from six university campuses in 2005. There were 2548 respondents (response fraction: 63%). Measures included the number of standard drinks (10 g ethanol) consumed on each day of the preceding week in pubs/bars/nightclubs, student flats/houses, residential halls, and ‘other’ locations (e.g., restaurants). We used multilevel regression to test for associations between type of drinking location and consumption per episode, adjusting for student- and episode-level covariates. Respondents consumed an average of 7.1 drinks (SD 5.2) per drinking day, including 5.4 drinks (SD 4.5) in pubs/bars/nightclubs, flats/houses, and residential halls, and 3.7 drinks (SD 3.4) in other locations. Overall, men drank more per location (mean 8.4, SD 6.3) than did women (mean 6.2, SD 4.0). Multilevel analyses revealed positive associations between the first three location types and drinks per episode relative to other locations when adjusting for student- and episode-level covariates including duration of episode. Certain drinking locations (i.e., pubs, residential halls, off-campus houses) appear to promote or facilitate heavy alcohol consumption among students. Better enforcement of laws prohibiting service to intoxication should be prioritized to reduce alcohol-related harm among university students. Consideration should be given to strengthening alcohol policies in residential halls and methods for managing heavy drinking in private residences.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence Vol. 111, Issue 1-2, p. 38-43