First year students' depictions of alcohol consumption: an alcohol expectancy challenge programme
Excessive alcohol consumption at national and international Higher Education Institutions has deleterious effects on students. A review of the literature on this phenomenon revealed that although a large number of studies have been conducted on alcohol perception and alcohol expectations in various student contexts, there was a dearth of qualitative studies on these aspects. This gap provided the impetus for this study, which explores first year students' depictions of alcohol consumption and creates an Alcohol Expectancy Challenge Programme based on these depictions. A qualitative research approach situated in a critical phenomenological paradigm was adopted. The site of the study was North-West University. The methodology comprised purposeful sampling of first year students in on-campus residences, semi-structured interviews to generate data and thematic data analysis. Due attention was given to ethical considerations as well as ways of enhancing trustworthiness. The use of Merleau-Ponty's Critical Phenomenological approach to semi-structured interviews allowed for primary talk that developed into secondary talk. Lazarus's Multimodal Behavior Therapy Model was integrated with Jabareen's multi-disciplinary approach to develop a conceptual framework to reveal the complexity and interrelation of concepts regarding the phenomenon of alcohol. Jabareen's Multi-disciplinary model (2009), that was used to develop a conceptual framework clearly revealed the importance of positioning alcohol studies in a number of disciplines such as medical social and psychological and education. Lazarus's Multimodal Behavior Therapy Model (1976) specified the interplay of the different modalities and alcohol consumption in the student context. Merleau Ponty' view on embodiment refers to the physical consumption of alcohol that leads to lived experiences. These lived experiences were used to make meaning of alcohol consumption in a first year student context. The findings indicated that students in the study had unique experiences and perceptions of alcohol consumption. They were aware of the intra and interpersonal motivations associated with alcohol consumption as part of student life. They associated alcohol consumption with positive and negative effects. In their view, irresponsible alcohol consumption by students is widespread and should be addressed. They also provided a number of practical suggestions on how to promote responsible alcohol consumption among first year students. The Alcohol Expectancy Challenge Programme makes a significant contribution. Informed by the needs that emerged from the qualitative data generation and analysis, it aims to promote responsible alcohol consumption among first year students. The programme was specifically developed to be implemented by intern-psychologists and peer-helpers at the Student Counselling and Development Centre at the North-West University.
- Education