Effects of Workplace Generalized and Sexual Harassment on Abusive Drinking Among First Year Male and Female College Students: Does Prior Drinking Experience Matter?
Background: Workplace harassment, a known risk factor for adult drinking, is understudied in college samples, but may help explain observed gender differences in drinking patterns. Objective: We examine effects of sexual and generalized workplace harassment on changes in drinking behavior over the first semesters of college, and the extent to which these effects differ based on prematriculation drinking for men and women students. Method: Data derive from two waves of a longitudinal study of eight Midwestern colleges and universities. Data were collected from 2080 employed students via a Web-based survey assessing sexual and generalized workplace harassment, stressful life events, drinking to intoxication, and binge drinking prior to freshman year (fall 2011) and approximately one year later (summer to fall 2012). At baseline, lifetime drinking status, frequency of alcohol consumption, and demographics were also assessed. Results: Linear-mixed modeling indicated that employed women students who were frequent drinkers prematriculation were at risk for high levels of drinking associated with workplace harassment, while men who were nondrinkers were most at risk of increasing problem drinking over time when exposed to workplace harassment. Conclusions: Alcohol use prevention efforts directed towards employed students are needed both prior to and during college, to instruct students how to identify workplace harassment and cope in healthier ways with stressful workplace experiences. These efforts might be particularly useful in stemming problematic drinking among women who drink frequently prior to college, and preventing men who are nondrinkers upon college entry from initiating problematic drinking during subsequent enrollment years.
Substance Use and Misuse
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Rospenda, Fujishiro, K., McGinley, M., Wolff, J. M., & Richman, J. A. (2017). Effects of Workplace Generalized and Sexual Harassment on Abusive Drinking Among First Year Male and Female College Students: Does Prior Drinking Experience Matter? Substance Use & Misuse, 52(7), 892–904. https://doi.org/10.1080/10826084.2016.1267218