Time and again, college students face different kinds of stressors comprising financial problems, time management, social activities like school clubs, sleep deprivation and even supporting families (O’hara, Armeli, & Tennen, 2015). As a result, many of them engage in alcohol intake (O’hara, Armeli, & Tennen, 2015). This study explores the relationship between alcohol intake and the perceived stress levels among students of the Oklahoma State University Business School.
Background of the Study
Alcohol abuse is a big problem among college students today. In many cases, it is indicative of the underlying social and academic personal problems that students face, but are not dealt with promptly (Kenney, LaBrie, Hummer, & Pham, 2012). As a result of this, many turn to alcohol as a mechanism to cope with the stressors in their lives not knowing the risks associated with such a habit, and in no time, the problem metamorphoses into something they cannot rid themselves of, thereby affecting academic performance, financial responsibility, and even medical well-being (Larimer, 2013).
Some of the questions to be answered by this study include:
Do high stress levels make undergraduate students go beyond low risk levels of drinking at Oklahoma State University?
What is the relationship between long working hours and the stress levels among students at the university?
Do long working hours contribute to increased alcohol intake among students?
How does sleeping hours influence the stress levels and the drinking habits of students at Oklahoma State University Business School?
Relevance of the Study
At a time when alcohol abuse cases are on the rise among young people, it is important for university administrative bodies to determine the alcohol consumption habits in their student bodies and to know how to tackle the problem from the angle or perspective of stress management among students (O’hara, Armeli, & Tennen, 2015). Exposed to a new environment, many undergraduates undergo lots of pressure and experience different kinds of expectations from families and friends that may lead them to engage in alcohol intake as a coping mechanism (Sladek, Doane, Luecken, & Eisenberg, 2016). Therefore, they have to be education on the risks of alcohol consumption as well as effective ways of stress management. Universities are comprised of students from diverse cultural backgrounds and the Business School at Oklahoma State University is no exception. Understanding the diversity of the student body and the subject of the study, which is the link between stress levels and intake of alcohol can provide greater insight on intervention approaches in cases of alcohol abuse among college students.
The study will incorporate interviews and literature review in understanding the problem and answering the research questions. By looking at what experts say in previous research studies and comparing it to the findings from the interviews, proper intervention mechanisms can be devised for the students at Oklahoma State University, and specifically, the Business School students. A random group of students will be selected for the study. A handful will be interviewed while the rest will participate by answering questionnaires administered online; either through email forms or online survey tools such as Google Forms.
Alcohol abuse is a social problem that can only be tackled and eradicated by understanding the underlying problems that causes it (Kenney, LaBrie, Hummer, & Pham, 2012). Among them is stress which is a result of various stressors pointed out above such as time management, sleep deprivation, and financial problems. In creating awareness about effective stress management and the risks associated to alcohol abuse, the problem can be dealt with (Larimer, 2013). However, this can only be done if the problem is properly analyzed and understood especially in a student community with people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs.
- Kenney, S. R., LaBrie, J. W., Hummer, J. F., & Pham, A. T. (2012). Global sleep quality as a moderator of alcohol consumption and consequences in college students. Addictive behaviors, 37(4), 507-512.
- Larimer, M. (2013). Preventing alcohol abuse in college students: A harm-reduction approach. Alcohol problems among adolescents: Current directions in prevention research, 147.
- O’hara, R. E., Armeli, S., & Tennen, H. (2015). College students’ drinking motives and social-contextual factors: Comparing associations across levels of analysis. Psychology of addictive behaviors, 29(2), 420.
- Sladek, M. R., Doane, L. D., Luecken, L. J., & Eisenberg, N. (2016). Perceived stress, coping, and cortisol reactivity in daily life: A study of adolescents during the first year of college. Biological psychology, 117, 8-15.