Research Recommends Using Facebook to Identify College Binge Drinkers

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Los Angeles DUI lawyers who represent college students accused of drunk driving, often find that parents are surprised at their children's drinking practices. A mere look at a student’s Facebook status updates should be enough to alert parents to their child's possibly destructive drinking behaviors.

According to new research, students who regularly post on Facebook about their drinking habits are much more likely to rate highly as problem drinkers. The researchers went through the Facebook profiles of 307 college students, and categorized them as college students who did not post about alcohol on Facebook (non-displayers), college students who posted about alcohol use (alcohol displayers), and college students who regularly posted about being seriously drunk on Facebook (intoxication or problem drinking displayers).

After that, the researchers asked the students to fill out a survey to examine their alcohol use. The results of the survey were analyzed, and students were graded on a scale of 1 to 10. Students who rated 8 or above were found to be in the highest category of problem drinkers. These rates were compared with the student’s use of Facebook.

The researchers were not surprised to find that students who were graded as problem drinkers were much more likely to post news, pictures, and other information about their drinking practices on Facebook. Students who shared pictures or stories about their drinking were 1.5 times more likely to be problem drinkers than those students who made general and harmless drinking-related comments. Not surprisingly to Los Angeles DUI defense lawyers, students who posted about their drinking habits had an 89% greater chance of having a “problem drinker” score compared to students who never made any status updates about drinking.

The researchers say that the lesson to take home from the study is this - if you find that your child is making far too many references to intoxicated behavior and drinking on his or her Facebook wall, it might be time for you to take action before you require the services of a Los Angeles drunk driving defense attorney.

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