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Alcohol Use Patterns of Graduate Students in Social Work and in Business
Mary L. Waring, Gilda Petraglia, Lynn Cohen, Everett Busby
This comparative study is among the first to survey the drinking behavior of graduate students in social service ( N = 256) and in business ( N = 147). A large majority (88%) drank. A significantly greater number of social service students abstained. Irrespective of school, age or religion, men and women drank at a similar level of frequency-several times weekly. Only business school women, controlling for age and religion, were significantly heavier drinkers than were women in social service. Older Hispanic social service men were significantly lighter drinkers than similar Caucasians. All women preferred wine, whereas men had no particular beverage preference. Although there was no significant difference in the location of drinking-in bars, restaurants or at home-most students drank in restaurants. Irrespective of previous course work or work experience with alcoholics, social service students wanted alcohol education. However, business students showed almost no interest in this area of study, despite the known deleterious role that alcohol misuse plays in the employment arena. Major conclusions are that both business and social service students lack alcohol education, although most drink. This is an important blind spot among business students, who will be making critical business decisions. It is also inadequate preparation for social service practice.