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Drinking PULSE Survey Overview

The Drinking PULSE Survey aimed to gather information about students’ perceptions, thoughts, and experiences regarding diversity and inclusion on Penn State’s University Park campus. Results from the Spring 2019 administration of the survey reveal that:

  • Prevalence of Alcohol Use
    • When asked how they would best describe their alcohol usage, the majority of students (70.3%) reported being either “light” or “moderate” drinkers.
    • 23.6% of the students indicated that they “never tried or don’t currently drink.”
  • High-Risk Drinking
    • Overall, slightly more than half of the respondents (52.0%) reported engaging in high-risk drinking in the previous two weeks, with 19.2% being classified as frequent high-risk drinkers. 
    • Unlike previous years, women (50.1%) engaged in high-risk drinking at a greater rate than men (44.2%).
  • Consequences of Alcohol Use
    • Top 3 Indirect consequences (resulting from other students’ drinking)
      • 65.9% had to “baby-sit” a student who drank too much
      • 56.3% had their studying or sleep interrupted during this academic year
      • 31.1% had been insulted or humiliated
    • Top 3 direct consequences (resulting from their own drinking)
      • 78.2% had a hangover/headache the morning after drinking 
      • 66.2% felt sick to their stomach or thrown up
      • 58.6% were unable to remember a part of the previous evening
  • Bystander Intervention
    • The top motivating factor in determining whether to intervene in an uncomfortable drinking situation would be to prevent the situation from escalating, with 87.3% indicating “somewhat important” or “very important.” This was the most important factor in 2015 and 2017 as well
    • Slightly less than half of the students (46.2%) indicated that they didn’t have enough information to determine if it was concerning enough to intervene, and 38.9% of students indicated that they didn’t know the person well enough to intervene.

For more information, please visit the PULSE Archive Page to view or download the Drinking Survey.

Penn State Student Affairs
Research & Assessment

105 White Building 
University Park, PA 16802