College Freshmen: Less Partying. Self-Rated Emotional Health Lowest Ever Recorded

Saturday, February 21, 2015
(photo: Ghislain and Marie David de Lossy, Image Bank/Getty Images)

The young men and women starting college haven’t partied as much as others before them, according to a new academic study (pdf). They’re also not as happy as those who preceded them.

 

Researchers at the Cooperative Institutional Research Program at the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA took an exhaustive look at college freshmen and offered numerous insights into what they’re up to and how they’re doing. One discovery was they haven’t spent much time partying before starting college.

 

The study showed that from 1987 to 2014, students in their senior year of high school who said they partied six hours or more per week declined from 34.5% to 8.6%. During the same period, the percentage of high school seniors who partied an hour or less per week increased from 24.3% to 61.4%, and 41.3% didn’t party at all. Alcohol use among incoming freshmen has fallen from 74.2% who in 1981 said they “frequently” or “occasionally” drank beer to 38.7% in 2014.

 

The report says 2014 incoming students’ self-rated emotional health dropped to 50.7%, its lowest level ever, a drop of 2.3% from the freshmen class of 2013. The number of students admitting to “frequently” feeling depressed also went up by 9.5%, which was 3.4% higher than in 2009 when feeling “frequently” depressed reached its lowest point, the report states.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2014 (by Kevin Eagan, Ellen Bara Stolzenberg, Joseph J. Ramirez, Melissa C. Aragon, Maria Ramirez Suchard and Sylvia Hurtado, Cooperative Institutional Research Program at the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA) (pdf)

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