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Release: May 7, 1999

Media Advisory

UI class to present results of survey of high school students' drinking habits

IOWA CITY, Iowa — A group of University of Iowa students studying public opinion polling has built upon its 1998 survey of undergraduate drinking habits with a new study examining drinking patterns among high school students.

The UI students will present their findings to the media Tuesday, May 11 at 11 a.m. at the Iowa Social Science Institute, 130 Brewery Square, corner of Linn and Market Streets in Iowa City.

Some of the major topics addressed in the survey include rate of drinking, reasons for drinking, and the age at which high school students start drinking. This survey along with the survey designed and executed during the Fall 1998 semester, which examined UI students' perceptions of binge drinking on campus, will enable the students to compare high school and college drinking habits and discuss whether binge drinking is a problem that begins before students enter college.

Under the direction of Arthur Miller, a UI professor of political science and nationally recognized expert in public opinion polling, a group of 10 UI undergraduates designed and carried out the survey, which includes responses from about 500 Regina High School and Iowa City High School students.

The students who worked on the high school drinking survey are members of Miller's undergraduate research seminar "Political Alienation." Miller said the students were interested in pursuing the subject of binge drinking further, and he thought a study of drinking habits would be appropriate for a class focused on alienation in society.

"Drinking among students of high-school age is potentially a reflection of their alienation from school, their peers, their families, and institutions in general," he said.

For more information, contact Miller at (319) 338-3373 or (319) 335-2328