Placing regional students on the agenda: A study of attitudes toward alcohol and consumption patterns

Jasmine MacDonald, Jeremy Sweeting, Anthony Saliba, Taryn Humphries, Wendy Bowles

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation onlypeer-review


This paper reports findings from a multidisciplinary project examining regional university student attitudes toward alcohol and consumption patterns. Student alcohol consumption is a topic of considerable concern internationally, receiving much attention from the academic and social policy arenas. However, a majority of the empirical literature focuses on metropolitan based students. A mixed-methods questionnaire was developed including quantitative and qualitative measures. The questionnaire asked about respondent demographics, alcohol consumption and attitudes, as well as attitudes toward the use of social marketing. Respondents were current Charles Sturt University students aged at least 18 years. Two hundred and twenty respondents were recruited from the university’s five regional campuses in New South Wales, either online or via means of a paper-based questionnaire. The consumption characteristics measured provide a comprehensive profile of regional student consumption framed in the context of national levels of consumption. Analysis of attitudinal items highlighted novel findings relating to: 1) the relative influence of university culture, as compared to the culture of the towns where campus’ are based, 2) the acceptance of social vs. health implications of consumption, and 3) the level of insight exhibited by students regarding their individual patterns of consumption. This paper puts forward a case for increasing the representation of regional students within the alcohol consumption literature, setting the scene for future harm reduction initiatives that incorporate the unique needs of young people in regional Australia. Recommendations are made for future research, social policy, and practice directions within tertiary institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventAlcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council Biennial Conference - Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart, Hobart, Australia
Duration: 07 May 201408 May 2014


ConferenceAlcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council Biennial Conference
Abbreviated titleSetting the scene for the future
Internet address


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