Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Pritchard, Mary E.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Human and Family Resources


Education; Secondary--United States; Teenagers--United States--Alcohol use


Many researchers have studied factors associated with and predictive of alcohol use among adolescents in the United States. However, few have explored the consequences of alcohol use by adolescents. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between alcohol use and the attainment of educational goals. The sample consisted of 8,033 individuals who participated in the senior cohort of the High School and Beyond Study in 1980, 1982, and 1986. This was a normal secondary school population consisting of abstainers as well as alcohol users. Respondents reported their expected and satisfactory educational goals in 1980 and their actual educational attainment in 1986. They were also asked questions in regard to frequency and intensity of drinking in 1982 and 1986. Mean prior and present alcohol consumption was compared with attainment of the two types of educational goals by gender in the two time periods. Contingency table analysis and analysis of variance were used to analyze the relationship between prior and present alcohol consumption and attainment of educational goals. Overall, the analysis reveals a relationship between alcohol consumption and educational goal attainment for both time periods. One surprising relationship indicates greater alcohol use for those who attained higher levels of education. There is also higher alcohol use by the successful students. In both time periods, adolescents who achieved their educational goals reported a higher intensity of alcohol use than those who failed to attain their goals. Alcohol use may be a problem for some adolescents, but for the majority of students in this study, moderate alcohol use does not appear to interfere with educational goal attainment.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [54]-59)


vi, 65 pages




Northern Illinois University

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