Freshman Year Alcohol and Marijuana use Prospectively Predict Time to College Graduation and Subsequent Adult Roles and Independence.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Abstract

Objective This study examined how freshman year substance use prospectively predicted time to college graduation, and whether delayed graduation predicted postponed adoption of adult roles and future substance use. Participants Participants were part of a longitudinal study that began in 2004. The first analyses focused on freshman year (N = 2,050). The second analyses corresponded to a subset of participants at age 27 (N = 575). Methods Measures included self-reported substance use, adult role adoption, and university reported graduation dates. Results Results indicated that frequent binge drinking and marijuana use during freshman year predicted delayed college graduation. Those who took longer to graduate were more likely to have lower incomes and were less likely to obtain a graduate degree. Taking 5-6 years to graduate was associated with greater likelihood of alcohol-related problems. Conclusions Findings support the importance of interventions during freshman year of college to decrease substance use and promote timely graduation.