The alcohol use and associated mental health problems of student service members/veterans in higher education Academic Article uri icon


  • Aims: This study examined: (a) whether student service members/veterans attending college drank more frequently or in greater quantities than non-service peers; and (b) whether links between student service members/veterans' alcohol use and mental health-related outcomes differed from civilian students. Methods: Participants included 145 student service members/veterans and 136 civilian students attending 16 different higher education institutions within one Midwestern state. Data were collected via web-based survey assessing alcohol-related attitudes and behaviours, problem drinking, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress. Findings: In general, the current sample of veterans/student service members drank similarly to younger, civilian students. Furthermore, compared to civilian students, veterans/student service members' binge drinking was differentially associated to indicators of problem drinking and mental health symptoms such as depression/anxiety and PTSD. Conclusions: In general, findings suggest that binge drinking among student service members/veterans was associated with greater problems, highlighting potential adjustment difficulties/risks for this group. © 2012 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Barry, A. E., Whiteman, S., Wadswroth, S. M., & Hitt, S.

citation count

  • 28

publication date

  • October 2012