person holding up a red cup(University of North Carolina, August 3) First-year college students are reporting drinking less alcohol and having fewer episodes of binge drinking four months into the coronavirus pandemic than they were before the pandemic started, according to a study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The study is based on the experiences of 439 Carolina students and reflects how the pandemic affected students’ social lives and stress. Researchers from the Carolina Population Center and the UNC School of Medicine published the study findings August 2, 2021 in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

“We found that social factors, like social distancing and reductions in social support from friends, were associated with decreases in alcohol use among first-year students. By contrast, stress-related factors were less important,” said lead study author Jane Cooley Fruehwirth, an associate professor in the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Economics in the College of Arts & Sciences and a faculty fellow at the Carolina Population Center. Read the rest on the University of North Carolina's website.

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