Binge drinking in college significantly reduces odds of landing job, study finds

TEL AVIV — Binge drinking as a college student significantly reduces your chances of later landing a full-time job, a new study finds.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University and Cornell’s Smithers Institutes looked at data on 827 recent U.S. college graduates, finding that while general alcohol consumption during one’s studies wasn’t predictive of employability, binge drinking was.

Drunk man passed out with bottle of alcohol
A new study finds that college students who enjoy binge drinking regularly on the weekends are much less likely to land a job out of school

“A student who binge drinks four times a month has a six percent lower probability of finding a job than a student who does not engage in similar drinking habits,” explains lead researcher Peter Bamberger in a university news release. “Those students who drank heavily six times a month increased their unemployment probability to 10 percent.”

Overall, each individual binge drinking session within the course of a month was associated with a 1.4 percent decrease in likelihood of becoming employed.

For the purposes of their study, the researchers borrowed the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s definition of what constitutes “binge drinking”: four or more drinks for a woman, or five or more drinks for a man, over any two-hour period.

This inquiry is the first in a series of planned studies on how alcohol misuse affects a student’s transition to adult life.

Although previous researchers were unable to calculate an exact figure that tied drinking habits to future employability, their findings trended in the same direction.

This work is “consistent with the Smithers Institutes’ continued programmatic interest in substance abuse not only in the workplace, but in the college community as well,” says Bamberger.

Students monitored in the study were graduates of either Cornell, the University of Florida, the University of Michigan, or the University of Washington.

The full study was published last month in the Journal of Applied Psychology.


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