Binge-Drinking College Students Say They're Happier

The troubling new research is alarming to health experts

Those who binge drinking in college say they're happier.

Well, it's not exactly a winning argument for those against drinking in college. New research says that self-reported "binge-drinkers" in college say that they're happier because of their drinking habits.

The study looked at more than 1,500 undergraduates at a Northeastern liberal arts school, ABC reports. The report was meant to look at the difference of happiness in "high status" versus "low status" students: those who were white, wealthy, male, and heterosexual (and usually affiliated with Greek life) were considered to be high status versus those who weren't. 

What the study found was that those who were deemed to be low status seemed to find their happiness in booze, even more so than their high-status peers. Wrote Carolyn Hsu, lead author on the study and chair of Sociology and Anthropology at Colgate University in her report, "Binge drinking is a symbolic proxy for higher social status in college and is correspondingly related to greater social satisfaction." Or, as one psychologist put it to ABC: "For the price of a six-pack or two of beer, a minority or poorer student can feel as if they have become a member of the Beverly Hills Country Club." 

It's no secret that college students use booze to try to fit in — the problem is that it's a dangerous affiliation. Rates of assault, unprotected sex, academic problems, and even death skyrocket when binge drinking rates go up. 

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(Photo Modified: Flickr/arvind grover)