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Use of social ecology model to address alcohol use among college athletes.

Abstract: Compared to non-athletes, college athletes consume more alcohol and report higher rates of alcohol-related consequences such as DUI, unsafe sexual practices, and criminal behavior. This poses major problems for the integrity of college athletics College athletics refers primarily to sports and games organized and sanctioned by institutions of tertiary education (colleges or universities in American English). In the United States, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the National Association of Intercollegiate , athletic department personnel, and health educators who work to reduce destructive alcohol behaviors on campus. To understand why current alcohol education is ineffective, it is necessary to examine the ecology of this behavior. This article examines alcohol use among college athletes using the Social Ecology While the field of ecology focuses on the relationships between organisms and their environments, social ecology is a philosophy concerned with the relationships between humans and their environments.  Model to determine what most influences this behavior. A proposed ecological model specific to alcohol use among college athletes is discussed.


"Probably 85 to 90 percent of the negative incidents on campus, whether dealing with players or other students, were in some way related to alcohol ... We have justifiable jus·ti·fi·a·ble  
Having sufficient grounds for justification; possible to justify: justifiable resentment.

 anxiety over 1,500 (American) deaths in Iraq of a two-year period, but alcohol kills 1,400 college students annually"--Tom Osborne interview, as made to Joan Ryan Joan Marie Ryan (born 8 September 1955, Warrington) is a politician in the United Kingdom. She is member of Parliament for Enfield North, and is a member of the Labour Party. She was first elected in 1997, and had previously been deputy leader of Barnet Council. , reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle The San Francisco Chronicle was founded in 1865 as The Daily Dramatic Chronicle by teenage brothers Charles de Young and Michael H. de Young.[2] The paper grew along with San Francisco to become the largest circulation newspaper on the West Coast of the , March 17, 2005.

Tom Osborne is The first portable computer, developed by Adam Osborne and introduced in 1981. Floppy disk based with 64K of memory, it used the CP/M operating system and a modified version of the WordStar word processor that would display only 40 characters at a time across its tiny 4.5" CRT.  a former University of Nebraska head football coach and now Republican Congressman representing Nebraska in the U.S. House of Representatives. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 Osborne, in his 36 years as a coach of the Cornhuskers, he dealt with only three students who abused steroids steroids, class of lipids having a particular molecular ring structure called the cyclopentanoperhydro-phenanthrene ring system. Steroids differ from one another in the structure of various side chains and additional rings.  and thousands who abused alcohol (Ryan, 2005). Glance at recent collegiate col·le·giate  
1. Of, relating to, or held to resemble a college.

2. Of, for, or typical of college students.

3. Of or relating to a collegiate church.
 athletic news and instead of scores and highlights, one notices headlines regarding arrests, team suspensions, and campus crimes committed by student athletes. While people may dismiss these incidents as youthful indiscretions, universities take very seriously the major responsibility to promote positive behaviors and safe environments among its student athletes, as well as non-athletes. The question becomes why are there so many negative occurrences on campuses, and why are so many committed by college athletes? With highly publicized pub·li·cize  
tr.v. pub·li·cized, pub·li·ciz·ing, pub·li·ciz·es
To give publicity to.

Adj. 1. publicized - made known; especially made widely known
 Congressional hearings Congressional hearings are the principal formal method by which committees collect and analyze information in the early stages of legislative policymaking. Whether confirmation hearings — a procedure unique to the Senate — legislative, oversight, investigative, or a  centered on steroid use as the primary substance abuse problem in sports, it is easy to forget that alcohol, not performance enhancers, contributes to more social and health problems among athletes than any other drug (Leichliter Meilman, Presley, & Cashin, 1998; Naughton, 1996). Although the use of performance enhancing substances does increase health risks and prevention programs are needed, health educators and higher education higher education

Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art.
 administrators cannot overlook the problem of alcohol misuse among university athletes. Alcohol consumption and misuse is a major part of athletic life at colleges across the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. .

From 1970-2005, at least one college athlete has suffered an alcohol-related death every year (Nuwar, 2000). Alcohol is not new to college campuses or college athletics; however, recent media headlines have raised questions about the culture of college athletics and its relationship to alcohol. Among the many alcohol-related incidences: Duke University Men's Lacrosse--Season cancelled and coach resigns after alcohol-fueled party on March 13, 2006 results in sexual assault and kidnapping kidnapping, in law, the taking away of a person by force, threat, or deceit, with intent to cause him to be detained against his will. Kidnapping may be done for ransom or for political or other purposes.  charges against three players ("Duke Lacrosse Duke lacrosse may refer to:
  • The Duke University lacrosse team
  • The 2006 Duke University lacrosse team scandal
," 2006 ).

* California State University Enrollment
 at Chico cancels 2006 softball softball, variant of baseball played with a larger ball on a smaller field. Invented (1888) in Chicago as an indoor game, it was at various times called indoor baseball, mush ball, playground ball, kitten ball, and, because it was also played by women, ladies'  season after a 17 year old recruit entered the hospital for alcohol overdose overdose /over·dose/ (o´ver-dos?)
1. to administer an excessive dose.

2. an excessive dose.

An excessive dose, especially of a narcotic.
. Several current players were in attendance and also under the legal drinking age The legal drinking age is a limit assigned by governments to restrict the access of children and youth to alcoholic beverages. In most countries the legal age to purchase alcohol is at least 18, but there are notable exceptions.  ("Recruit Went to Hospital," 2006).

* Hartwick College History
Hartwick Seminary was founded in 1797 through the will of John Christopher Hartwick, a Lutheran minister from Germany, who led several mission congregations of early settlers along the Hudson River and the Mohawk River in what is now upstate New York.
, in Oneonta, NY, suspends several players for the 2006 lacrosse lacrosse (ləkrôs`), ball and goal game usually played outdoors by two teams of 10 players each on a field 60 to 70 yd (54.86 to 64.01 m) wide by 110 yd (100.58 m) long. Two goals face each other 80 yd (73.  season after hazing Hazing is an often ritualistic test and a task, which may constitute harassment, abuse or humiliation with requirements to perform random, often meaningless tasks, sometimes as a way of initiation into a social group.  incident where freshmen players were forced to strip and drink a keg of beer (Palmateer, 2006).

* UCLA UCLA University of California at Los Angeles
UCLA University Center for Learning Assistance (Illinois State University)
UCLA University of Carrollton, TX and Lower Addison, TX
 football player Justin Medlock Justin Charles "J-Med" Medlock Born October 23, 1983 in Fremont, California is a free agent American football kicker. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs and played only one regular season game for the team.  charged with felony felony (fĕl`ənē), any grave crime, in contrast to a misdemeanor, that is so declared in statute or was so considered in common law.  driving under the influence after a December 10, 2005 automobile accident Ask a Lawyer

Country: United States of America
State: Utah

Say you're at a red light in a left hand turning lane and the light turns green so you let up slightly on the break antedating moving forward and the vehicle
 in which fellow athlete Hannah Jun was seriously injured in·jure  
tr.v. in·jured, in·jur·ing, in·jures
1. To cause physical harm to; hurt.

2. To cause damage to; impair.

 ("UCLA Placekicker," 2005).


Over the past several decades, studies have consistently shown that athletes exhibit high rates of alcohol use and alcohol-related consequences. A 2001 study by the National Collegiate Athletic Association National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

Organization that administers U.S. intercollegiate athletics. It was formed in 1906 but did not acquire significant powers to enforce its rules until 1942. Headquartered at Indianapolis, Ind.
National Collegiate Athletic Association
) revealed that 78.3% of college athletes had used alcohol within the previous year, while a similar study by Green, Uryasz, Petr, and Bray (2001) reported that 80.5% of student athletes surveyed consumed alcohol in that time period. Multiple studies showed that university student athletes report higher use and misuse of alcohol than comparable non-athletes (Hildebrand, Johnson, & Bogle bo·gle  
A hobgoblin; a bogey.

[Scots bogill, perhaps ultimately from Welsh bwg, ghost, hobgoblin.
, 2001; Leichliter, et al., 1998; Nelson & Wechsler, 2001; Wechsler, Davenport Davenport, city (1990 pop. 95,333), seat of Scott co., E central Iowa, on the Mississippi River; inc. 1836. Bridges connect it with the Illinois cities of Rock Island and Moline; the three communities and neighboring Bettendorf, Iowa, are known as the Quad Cities. , Dowdall, Grossman, & Zanakos, 1997). Hildebrand et al. revealed that college athletes (28.5%) show significantly higher levels of heavy drinking
  • Heavy drinking may mean drinking large amounts of water or alcohol.
  • Heavy drinking may also mean drinking alcohol to the point of Drunkenness.
 than comparable non-athletes (13.8%). Leichliter et al. reported that college athletic team members average 50% more drinks per week (9.66) than student non-athletes (6.37). Additionally, student athletes experience more alcohol-related consequences such as driving under the influence, unsafe sexual practices, and institutional offenses (Leichliter et al.). Despite these statistics, current educational efforts have done little to change or modify the behaviors of these athletes.

Although the NCAA has begun to review external alcohol policies, including advertising, little has been done to review policies governing athlete behavior (Hedlund, 2005). The minimal guidelines guidelines, a set of standards, criteria, or specifications to be used or followed in the performance of certain tasks.
 for alcohol education set forth by the NCAA states that individual institutions must deliver an education program at least once a semester se·mes·ter  
One of two divisions of 15 to 18 weeks each of an academic year.

[German, from Latin (cursus) s
 for athletes (NCAA Minimum, n.d.). However, it is evident that simple education, although important, cannot alone change behavior (Wechsler, Nelson, & Weitzman, 2000). Researchers have suggested that there are too many other factors that strongly influence whether an athlete will consume alcohol or binge drink (Harvard Alcohol, n.d.). Realizing that multiple influences affect behavior, a systematic review of all levels of influence is necessary to determine effective change. This article suggests the adoption of a broad, multi-level approach for health educators, college administrators, and athletic department personnel in dealing with the increasingly visible and socially unacceptable problem of college athletes' alcohol behaviors.


It comes as no surprise that college athletes use alcohol for multiple reasons. A historical perspective on this issue gives some insight into how the behavior was originally viewed. One initial notion was that the physical nature of athletics was influential against use. Given that athletic performance puts a premium on the physical conditioning of athletes, it was originally thought that student athletes are at a lower risk for alcohol abuse (Strauss & Bacon, 1953). It was suggested that athletes would avoid alcohol use in an effort to maintain optimal conditioning. However, as noted, student athletes show greater levels of alcohol consumption and alcohol misuse. In 1997, Wechsler et al. reported that student athletes (61%) were more likely to have engaged in binge drinking binge drinking An early phase of chronic alcoholism, characterized by episodic 'flirtation' with the bottle by binges of drinking to the point of stupor, followed by periods of abstinence; BD is accompanied by alcoholic ketoacidosis–accelerated lipolysis and  in the previous 2 weeks than students not involved with athletics (43%). In the study, binge drinking was defined as five or more drinks in a row for males or four or more drinks in a row for females. In 2004, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism alcoholism, disease characterized by impaired control over the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Alcoholism is a serious problem worldwide; in the United States the wide availability of alcoholic beverages makes alcohol the most accessible drug, and alcoholism is  (NIAAA NIAAA National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (National Institutes of Health)
NIAAA National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association
NIAAA Northwestern Illinois Area Agency on Aging
) officially defined binge drinking as consuming five or more drinks for males or four or more drinks for females in about 2 hours. Wechsler et al. also discovered gender differences. More male athletes (29%) reported binge drinking than female athletes (24%), which is comparable to rates within the general student population in the United States. In 2006, the NCAA reported that the number of athletes drinking five or more drinks in one sitting increased dramatically since 2001 (NCAA, 2006).

In a study of 51,483 college students who participated in the Core Alcohol and Drug Survey in the mid-1990s, Leichliter et al. (1998) revealed a similar outcome. Alcohol consumption was greater in athletes than in non-athletes, particularly in areas such as average number of drinks per week and binge drinking in the previous 2 weeks. In response, the NIAAA has identified athletes as an at-risk college sub-population (NIAAA, 2002). An examination of the social culture of college athletes, with focus on alcohol influences, will assist researchers in determining the best practices for reducing alcohol-related problems in this high-risk population.

Additional research on alcohol use by athletes has looked at several factors that influence drinking behaviors such as social atmosphere, team roles, alcohol perceptions, and consequences of use. To a degree, alcohol is ingrained in·grained  
1. Firmly established; deep-seated: ingrained prejudice; the ingrained habits of a lifetime.

 within sport culture. Dating back centuries, alcohol has been used as a training supplement, similar to the athletic drinks seen today. Social use among athletes and sports fans has been documented, as well as alcohol's primary role in sport marketing (Collins & Vamplew, 2002; Stainback, 1997). Given this cultural link, it is possible that alcohol acceptance has been institutionalized in·sti·tu·tion·al·ize  
tr.v. in·sti·tu·tion·al·ized, in·sti·tu·tion·al·iz·ing, in·sti·tu·tion·al·iz·es
a. To make into, treat as, or give the character of an institution to.

 into sports. This conception is glorified glo·ri·fy  
tr.v. glo·ri·fied, glo·ri·fy·ing, glo·ri·fies
1. To give glory, honor, or high praise to; exalt.

 through popular media such as Sports Illustrated Sports Illustrated is the largest weekly American sports magazine owned by media conglomerate Time Warner. It has over 3 million subscribers and is read by 23 million adults each week, including over 18 million men, 19% of the adult males in the country.  on Campus' ranking of the best college sports bars and best college football weekends, of which alcohol is a large part (Big Shots, 2005 & Waxman, 2005).

College student alcohol use and its association to the social atmosphere on campuses have been widely researched. Several studies have examined the role of social drinking norms on campus and its effect on personal alcohol use (Martens, Page, Mowry, Damann, Taylor, & Cimini, 2006; Perkins, 2002; Perkins, Haines, & Rice, 2005; Perkins & Wechsler, 1996; Thombs, 2000; Thombs & Hamilton, 2002). Thombs indicated that college athletes overestimate o·ver·es·ti·mate  
tr.v. o·ver·es·ti·mat·ed, o·ver·es·ti·mat·ing, o·ver·es·ti·mates
1. To estimate too highly.

2. To esteem too greatly.
 the normal drinking rates on campus and among teammates, which may lead to increased personal use. Many athletes use alcohol as a social drug, thereby suggesting influence to use may be peer related. Leichliter et al. (1998) found that athletes considered team leaders drink more and experience more negative consequences than non-team leaders.

Negative consequences of alcohol use among college students have been examined and identified. It is suggested that college athletes experience negative outcomes of alcohol use to a greater degree than non-athletes (Leichliter et al., 1998; Naughton, 1996). These outcomes include driving under the influence, higher rates of sex-related crimes, and increased risk for sexually transmitted diseases Sexually transmitted diseases

Infections that are acquired and transmitted by sexual contact. Although virtually any infection may be transmitted during intimate contact, the term sexually transmitted disease is restricted to conditions that are largely
. In addition to these health outcomes, athletes also risk loss of scholarship and public scrutiny because of their visible role within college communities, which has secondary effects on the image of the university as well. As a result, some major universities have banned or increased restrictions on alcohol use during tailgating Tailgating

The action of a broker or advisor purchasing or selling a security for his or her client(s) and then immediately making the same transaction in his or her own account.
 on campus, including Kansas State University Kansas State University, main campus at Manhattan; coeducational; land-grant and state supported; chartered and opened 1863. There is an additional campus at Salina. Among the university's research facilities are the J. R.  and Yale University Yale University, at New Haven, Conn.; coeducational. Chartered as a collegiate school for men in 1701 largely as a result of the efforts of James Pierpont, it opened at Killingworth (now Clinton) in 1702, moved (1707) to Saybrook (now Old Saybrook), and in 1716 was  which has limited tailgating during its annual football rivalry game against Harvard University Harvard University, mainly at Cambridge, Mass., including Harvard College, the oldest American college. Harvard College

Harvard College, originally for men, was founded in 1636 with a grant from the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
 (Gameday Policies, 2004; "Yale to Limit," 2005).

Several crucial areas have been identified to explore the problem of college over-drinking (Hildebrand et al., 2001; Leichliter et al., 1998; Nelson & Wechsler, 2001; Thombs, 2000; Wechsler et al., 1997; Wilson, Pritchard, & Schaffer, 2004). Further research on drinking motives and alcohol influences is suggested (Leichliter et al.; Wilson et al.). Athletic coaches are influential over athletes; therefore the role of coaches in alcohol use prevention and intervention has been listed as an area for continued study (Hildebrand et al.; Wechsler et al.). Research is needed to investigate the function of the athletic department, school, and community in alcohol use prevention and intervention among athletes (Hildebrand et al.; Nelson & Wechsler; Thombs). It has also been indicated that variables such as team leadership role (Leichliter et al.) and type of sport (Leichliter et al.; Thombs; Wechsler et al.) may impact drinking behavior.

As drinking rates remain high, it is evident that previous singular-focused alcohol educational interventions have yielded little or no change in alcohol usage rates and related-consequences among college athletes. Similarly, research into alcohol policy changes has shown little positive change (Weitzman, Folkman, Folkman, & Wechsler, 2003). A broad, multi-level approach addressing the social ecological aspects of alcohol use in college athletics may allow for identification and intervention among varying levels of influence. McLeroy (2006) suggests using social ecology as a conceptual framework For the concept in aesthetics and art criticism, see .

A conceptual framework is used in research to outline possible courses of action or to present a preferred approach to a system analysis project.
 for changing social systems to accomplish goals of health promotion.


While simple observation of behavior is important in health promotion, employing a more comprehensive approach is required for initial and sustainable change. Various theories have been proposed to assist in the explanation of why people behave in the manner that they do. Social Ecology is a comprehensive approach to behavior explanation. Ecology suggests that behavior is affected by multiple levels of influence (McLeroy, Bibeau, Steckler, & Glanz, 1988). Alcohol use among college athletes is a multifaceted mul·ti·fac·et·ed  
Having many facets or aspects. See Synonyms at versatile.

Adj. 1. multifaceted - having many aspects; "a many-sided subject"; "a multifaceted undertaking"; "multifarious interests"; "the multifarious
 behavior in which influence is drawn from various sources; therefore an ecological approach of examining the problem may be the most appropriate method to make significant, sustainable behavioral change.

The ecological perspective and its varying levels of influence were explained in 1988 by McLeroy and colleagues. The key concept in this perspective is that behavior is multifaceted, with social and environmental issues being important contributing factors. Based on earlier work which suggested that behavior affects and is affected by various levels of influence, McLeroy and colleagues outlined an ecological model that includes five factors that affect health and corresponding behaviors. This model included: intrapersonal in·tra·per·son·al  
Existing or occurring within the individual self or mind.

 factors, interpersonal in·ter·per·son·al  
1. Of or relating to the interactions between individuals: interpersonal skills.

 processes, institutional or organizational factors, community factors, and public policy. The authors noted that assumptions of health promotion interventions are based on behavior theories Behavior theory can refer to:
  • in sociology, the collective behavior theory
  • in political sciences, the theories of political behavior
  • in psychology, the theory of planned behavior
 and beliefs; therefore this model and its five levels of analysis signify sig·ni·fy  
v. sig·ni·fied, sig·ni·fy·ing, sig·ni·fies
1. To denote; mean.

2. To make known, as with a sign or word: signify one's intent.
 the array of strategies available for health promotion programming (Figure 1).

Social ecology theory has been suggested for use in college alcohol prevention (Hansen, 1997; Perkins & Berkowitz, 1986). Hansen suggests a social ecological approach to establish the relationship of social structure and alcohol use among college students. Hansen also identifies college athletic teams as a social influencing factor on personal alcohol use. The authors of this paper have examined the ecology of alcohol use among college athletes to broaden the scope of potential research and intervention strategies.


The environment and identity of a college student athlete differs from that of a non-athlete in several ways. Social structure, time management, and sport-performance pressures are usually quite different for those who are college athletes. Because of the various influencing factors in a college athlete's life, it is acceptable to presume pre·sume  
v. pre·sumed, pre·sum·ing, pre·sumes
1. To take for granted as being true in the absence of proof to the contrary: We presumed she was innocent.
 that those factors can directly influence behavior. Hansen (1997) suggested a Social Ecology Theory for college alcohol prevention in which college athletic teams are identified as a social influencing factor on personal alcohol use. In an effort to fully explore the culture within which a student athlete uses alcohol, one needs a framework that explores various levels of personal, social, and environmental influences. Viewing the problem of alcohol consumption through an ecological perspective allows for understanding of the systems in which athletes make this health behavior choice and determination of the factors that may affect behavior. The Social Ecology Model's five levels of behavioral influence can be used to determine primary influencing factors specific to college athletes' alcohol use. Although some of these factors may also affect the non-athlete, it is necessary to develop criteria specific to college athletes.


Intrapersonal factors include individual characteristics such as knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs that may affect behavior. For the college student athlete, it is important to assess knowledge regarding alcohol's relationship not only to general health, but also how alcohol can affect sport performance. According to the NCAA (2006), almost 60 percent of college athletes believe their personal alcohol use has no impact on their health or sport performance, while almost 30 percent stated that they have performed poorly in a game or practice because of alcohol use. Since sport performance may affect academics through scholarship retention and vice versa VICE VERSA. On the contrary; on opposite sides. , athletes must be aware of the compromise from alcohol consumption.

One unique aspect of being an athlete is the athletic identity. The process of becoming an athlete involves learning the norms of the sport and earning acceptance as a member of the sport (Donnelly & Young, 1988). An athlete will often look to other athletes for role confirmation or behavioral cues. This adaptation to the sport lifestyle is sometimes referred to as the athletic identity (Anderson, 2004; Brewer, Van Raalte, & Linder, 1993). Applying interactionist theory (Burke, 1980) to sports, the athletic identity is expressed by how one defines himself or herself as an athlete and is defined by others as an athlete (Coakley, 2001). The interaction between others and the belief in an athletic identity may have an influence on behavior, particularly alcohol consumption. Research is needed to determine college athletes' perception of how they are identified and how they identify themselves. Also necessary is research into how this identification relates to the decision to drink or abstain from abstain from
verb refrain from, avoid, decline, give up, stop, refuse, cease, do without, shun, renounce, eschew, leave off, keep from, forgo, withhold from, forbear, desist from, deny yourself, kick (


Interpersonal factors are extremely influential to the behavior of college student athletes. An analysis of college drinking studies from 1953 to 1984 revealed that students who were involved in college social activities drank more alcohol and more frequently than students who were less involved in social activities (Brennan, Walfish, & AuBuchon, 1986). More recent studies show a similar pattern among Greek organizations and college athletics (Cashin, Presley, & Meilman, 1998; Leichliter et al., 1998; Meilman, Leichliter, & Presley, 1999). This suggests that social groups are influential in alcohol behavior. The effects of peer norms and normative nor·ma·tive  
Of, relating to, or prescribing a norm or standard: normative grammar.

 beliefs have also been shown through prior research. Perkins, Haines, and Rice (2005) analyzed an·a·lyze  
tr.v. an·a·lyzed, an·a·lyz·ing, an·a·lyz·es
1. To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations.

2. Chemistry To make a chemical analysis of.

 a large national database to determine the extent of alcohol misperceptions by college students. It was found that nearly 75% of college students nationwide overestimate the amount of alcohol consumed by peers in social situations. A student's perception of drinking norms on campus is one of the strongest predictors of personal alcohol consumption (Perkins et al.; Perkins and Wechsler, 1996). Since many athletes live in a social network that is dominated by teammates, it is important to determine the perceptions and beliefs of these norms within the team framework. A social group, such as a sports team, encourages social bonds between members which may lead to behavior imitation imitation, in music, a device of counterpoint wherein a phrase or motive is employed successively in more than one voice. The imitation may be exact, the same intervals being repeated at the same or different pitches, or it may be free, in which case numerous types ; therefore research into perceptions of teammates' alcohol patterns may be very beneficial in developing proper interventions (Cashin et al.). It would also be advantageous to examine the role of team leadership, since Leichliter et al. (1998) revealed that leaders report higher consumption.


Organizational or institutional influences on athletes may come from the organized leaders of a team. Viewing the team as an organization itself, athletes' perception of the coaches' rules, beliefs, and attitudes regarding alcohol use must be examined. Bower and Martin (1999) suggested that coaches' rules about alcohol can affect players' consumption, therefore the organizational rules within the team must be considered. Perceptions that coaches will not tolerate alcohol use by players may lead to restricted consumption on the part of the athlete (Bower & Martin).


In college, the predominant pre·dom·i·nant  
1. Having greatest ascendancy, importance, influence, authority, or force. See Synonyms at dominant.

 community in which students live is the university campus. As in most communities, college campuses provide interaction between various social groups creating a network of different clubs, organizations, and teams. Because athletes are not confined con·fine  
v. con·fined, con·fin·ing, con·fines
1. To keep within bounds; restrict: Please confine your remarks to the issues at hand. See Synonyms at limit.
 to relationships with other athletes, it is necessary to study the beliefs and perceptions that athletes have about alcohol use among the general student population. This is based on Thombs' (2000) report that athletes overestimate the amount of alcohol that non-athletes consume.


Campus alcohol policies are instrumental in setting guidelines and management of alcohol-related behaviors among students. Hirschfeld, Edwardson, and McGovern (2005) conducted a systematic review to examine aspects of college alcohol policies. It was determined that the college alcohol policies reviewed were moderately clear and accessible, but the areas of enforcement and comprehensiveness were lacking. Without proper enforcement, policy does little to impact behavior. In addition to university-wide policies, college athletes also fall under the governing regulations of an athletic department. According to the American Football Coaches Association The American Football Coaches Association is an association of football coaches on all levels and is responsible for the Coaches Poll that determines the national champion each year.  (2003), 88% of the athletes surveyed believed that their university is making a serious attempt to inform them about the hazards of using drugs and alcohol. In spite of the perceived education efforts, many athletes will continue to misuse alcohol. As Thombs (2000) indicated, little is known about athletic departments' commitment to alcohol education; therefore, policy factors should be studied to determine how the athletes perceive the university and athletic departments' rules, regulations, and policies regarding alcohol use. It should be determined if athletes are aware of the regulations and the consequences of violation. Perceptions of these rules and of the severity of the consequences may affect consumption. Using the review model set forth by Hirschfeld, Edwardson, and McGovern, it would be advantageous to examine athletic department alcohol policies on the basis of accessibility, clarity, comprehensiveness, and enforcement.


College sports expose participating athletes to increased pressures in both athletic and academic areas. It can also be said that the social life of college athletes may differ from that of non-athlete students. For these reasons, it is important to develop specific and appropriate alcohol awareness campaigns to help decrease the problems seen in this population. The U.S. Department of Education (2002) suggests social norms marketing Social norms marketing typically involves reducing the disparity between student perceptions and the actual extent of alcohol consumption by their peers.

Research has demonstrated that most college and other students hold greatly exaggerated beliefs about the proportion of
 and environmental change through alcohol policies modification, such as restricting alcohol advertising and marketing and creating and enforcing campus-wide policies that limit team participation for alcohol use. Studies have shown that interventions containing social norm components have helped reduce alcohol consumption by college students (Barnett, Far, Mauss, & Miller, 1996; Borsari & Carey, 2000; Gomberm Schneider, & DeJong, 2001; Haines & Spear, 1996). However, there is evidence that social norm campaigns alone, do not impact student-athletes' alcohol consumption (Thombs & Hamilton, 2002). This provides support for the need of a social ecological solution to the problem. A multi-level, ecological approach which incorporates social norms marketing at the interpersonal and community levels, personal health education at the intrapersonal level and university/ athletic department guideline guideline Medtalk A series of recommendations by a body of experts in a particular discipline. See Cancer screening guidelines, Cardiac profile guidelines, Gatekeeper guidelines, Harvard guidelines, Transfusion guidelines.  changes at the policy and institutional levels may be advantageous.

It is suggested that the problem be addressed through the multiple levels outlined in Figure 2. Intervention development must take into account several aspects such as the role of team members, motives of alcohol use, peer normative beliefs, social factors, and negative consequences. Perhaps to achieve the greatest impact, interventions should begin prior to college (high or junior high school) since previous alcohol consumption is a strong predictor of future alcohol use and misuse (Wechsler, Lee, Kuo, & Lee, 2000). Although over 90% of elementary and secondary schools report teaching on the benefits of not using alcohol, this alone doesn't appear to make significant impact since the prevalence of alcohol use remains high (Kann, Brener, & Allensworth, 2001). Since elementary and secondary school prevention efforts do not seem effective, it is imperative to develop suitable programs to help decrease the negative outcomes of alcohol use while in college. In order to develop and implement appropriate and effective interventions, needs assessment must take into account all factors that influence student athletes' alcohol consumption. Ecological models integrate key influencing factors across disciplines; therefore, an ecological approach to college athlete alcohol prevention and intervention is essential. Figure 2 contains explanations of the social ecological levels of influence as they directly relate to college athletes' alcohol use.



The NIAAA suggests five steps for effective program planning and intervention with college alcohol problems: identifying specific goals and objectives, reviewing the evaluation research, outlining how the intervention will work, creating and executing a data collection plan, and providing feedback to the intervention program (Saltz & DeJong 2002). A framework of social ecology is also highly recommended as it allows for a broader approach to understanding the behavior on campus. This approach can also be applied to the subpopulation sub·pop·u·la·tion  
A part or subdivision of a population, especially one originating from some other population: microbial subpopulations.

Noun 1.
 of college athletes.

Utilizing the Social Ecology Model for Alcohol Use Among College Athletes to fully examine the reasons for alcohol use is an important step to address alcohol abuse on campuses. As research and recent headlines have revealed, it is not only the athletes at risk. Reducing alcohol-related problems among athletes on campus extends benefits to all students, athlete and non-athlete alike, as well as the surrounding communities. University health educators should collaborate with athletic department staff and university administrators to address alcohol use among college athletes using the broad, multi-level approach of social ecology. University administration must provide support for any campus initiative to prove successful. University wide policy mandating athlete-specific educational programs and policies may help shape the drinking atmosphere among student-athletes. Since athletic department staff, including administration and coaches, have direct authority over college athletes, they must take a lead role within interventions. This includes creating and enforcing year-long team and department policies regarding alcohol use and misuse. As suggested by the U.S. Department of Education (2002), the enforcement of these polices should include limiting sport participation. Health educators are charged with the planning, implementing, and evaluating of alcohol interventions for college athletes. Also important for health educators, is to act as a resource for athletic department personnel. It is suggested that this collaboration use the ecological model set forth in the paper to guide intervention development. Figure 3 contains suggested examples of prevention or intervention programs for each ecological level.


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a small but fatal weakness [Achilles in Greek mythology was killed by an arrow in his unprotected heel]

Achilles heel ntalón m de Aquiles 
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New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
: McGraw Hill.

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Main articles: Subculture and History of subcultures in the 20th century

This is a list of subcultures. A
  • Anarcho-punk
  • B-boy
  • Backpacking (travel)
  • BDSM
  • Beatnik
  • Bills
. Sociology of Sport Sociology of sport, alternately referred to as "sports sociology", is an area of sociology that focuses on sport as a social phenomenon and on the social and cultural structures, patterns, and organizations or groups engaged in sport.  Journal, 5, 223-240.

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DTL Drift Tube Linac
DTL Diode-Transistor Logic
DTL Designated Transit List (Sprint-ATM)
DTL Deferred Tax Liability (finance/accounting)
DTL Deputy Team Leader

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Kinetics (classical mechanics)

That part of classical mechanics which deals with the relation between the motions of material bodies and the forces acting upon them.

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Responsibility I--Assessing Individual and Community Needs for Health Education Competency COMPETENCY, evidence. The legal fitness or ability of a witness to be heard on the trial of a cause. This term is also applied to written or other evidence which may be legally given on such trial, as, depositions, letters, account-books, and the like.
 B: Distinguish between behaviors that foster and those that hinder hin·der 1  
v. hin·dered, hin·der·ing, hin·ders
1. To be or get in the way of.

2. To obstruct or delay the progress of.

 well-being Sub-competencies:

1. Investigate physical, social, emotional, and intellectual factors influencing health behavior 2. Identify behaviors that tend to promote or compromise health 3. Recognize the role of learning and affective affective /af·fec·tive/ (ah-fek´tiv) pertaining to affect.

1. Concerned with or arousing feelings or emotions; emotional.

 experiences in shaping patterns of health behavior 4. Analyze social, cultural, economic, and political factors that influence health

Ronald D. Williams, Jr., PhD, is affiliated with Southeast Missouri State University Missouri State University is a state university located in Springfield, Missouri. It is the state's second largest university in student enrollment, second only to the University of Missouri. From 1972 to 2005, Missouri State was known as Southwest Missouri State University. . Michael A. Perko, PhD, Don Belcher, PhD, Deidre D. Leaver-Dunn, PhD, Stuart L. Usdan, PhD, and James D. Leeper, PhD, are affiliated with the University of Alabama The University of Alabama (also known as Alabama, UA or colloquially as 'Bama) is a public coeducational university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA. Founded in 1831, UA is the flagship campus of the University of Alabama System. . Please address all correspondence to Michael A. Perko, PhD, Department of Health Science, The University of Alabama, Box 870311, Tuscaloosa, AL, 35473; PHONE: (205) 348-2956; FAX: (205) 348-7568; EMAIL See e-mail. :
Figure 1. Five Levels of Social Ecological Influence on Behavior
(McLeroy et al., 1988)

Intrapersonal Factors     Characteristics include personal knowledge,
                          attitudes, and beliefs concerning particular
                          behaviors; Issues of personal skill and

Interpersonal Factors     Social networks including family, friends,
                          and work groups

Organizational/           Social practices with organizational
Institutional Factors     characteristics including the formal and
                          informal rules and regulations for
                          operation within the particular institution;
                          Organizational norms and changes of those
                          norms can affect behavior of those
                          individuals involved

Community Factors         Relationships among organizations,
                          institutions, and informal networks within
                          defined boundaries; Includes the social
                          standards or norms that exist within the

Policy Factors            Policies and laws that are designed to
                          protect the health of a community; Polices
                          for health protection include regulations
                          for healthy actions, disease prevention,
                          and disease control

Figure 3. Suggestions for Prevention/Interventions Targeting
College Athletes' Alcohol Use and How University Officials
Should Be Involved

Intrapersonal            Educational campaign on the personal health
                         effects of alcohol use; education on how
                         changes in health affect changes in sport

Interpersonal Factors    Educational campaign focusing on social norms
                         among college athletes; targeting mispercep-
                         tions and overestimation of normal drinking
                         patterns of athletes and teammates

Organizational/          Development of team-specific rules by coaches
Institutional Factors    regarding alcohol limitations

Community Factors        Educational campaign focusing on social norms
                         among college students; targeting mispercep-
                         tions and overestimation of normal drinking
                         patterns of college students in general and
                         students on the particular campus

Policy Factors           Development of clear, accessible, enforceable
                         university and athletic department policies
                         that limit sport participation if alcohol
                         rules are not followed
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Author:Leeper, James D.
Publication:American Journal of Health Studies
Date:Jun 22, 2006
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