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forensic psych students with presentation

TU Forensic Psychology Students Present at American Society of Criminology Conference

Andrea Alaniz, MS in CJ forensic psychology, and Taylor Irving, BCJ forensic psychology, presented “Alcohol Consumption and Motivations among College Students” at the American Society of Criminology conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania last semester. Their research examined motivations for alcohol consumption among college students.

Andrea and Taylor constructed a short scenario questionnaire that asked about the likelihood of going out for a drink across a variety of different situations. The questionnaire was designed to cover three different motivations for drinking: college culture (students are motivated to drink simply because they are in college); coping with stress and feelings of being overwhelmed; and drinking to help manage and emotions (you’re having relationship issues and are feeling insecure and lonely).

Each of these items were paired with a follow‐up item that asked about the number of drinks that would be consumed in that given situation. The results showed that for both male and female participants, who were either under the legal drinking age (18‐20 years old) or at or above the legal drinking age (21‐23), college culture had the strongest effect on both the likelihood to drink as well as the number of drinks they would consume. Andrea and Taylor partnered on this research project back in the fall of 2016 in their research design course.

“They were very impressive,” said Dr. Steven Hurwitz. “Andrea and Taylor came across as polished and poised professionals. The professor who was acting as the panel chair for their session told them how impressed she was that they had done this research as undergraduates.”