Major Department



College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2018

Honors Major Advisor

J. Toby Mordkoff

Thesis Mentor

Michael O'Hara


College is a major transitional period for young adults as they move off into the world on their own and mental health problems are increasing within this population. The present study examined distance from students’ hometown to campus, the number of times students visit campus prior to starting classes, and the level of social and academic pressure students perceive as potential risk factors for risky drinking behaviors, anxiety, and negative college adjustment in a sample of first-year college students. Distance from students’ hometown to campus was also examined as a risk factor for hazardous drinking behaviors. Participants (N= 108) took part in a longitudinal study, completing a battery of measures as part of an online survey, at three time points throughout their first semester at college. Among other results, a one-way analysis of covariance revealed distance from hometown as a risk factor for risky drinking behaviors and the number of times students visited campus was found to be a risk factor for social anxiety symptoms. Perceived social pressure was identified as a risk factor negative college adjustment, social anxiety, and anxious mood symptoms, while perceived academic pressure was a risk factor for negative college adjustment and anxious mood symptoms. Risky drinking behavior was also found to be a risk factor for negative college adjustment. Implications for interventions and public education about risk factors for anxiety and negative college adjustment that future college students may face are discussed.


Distance from home, number of campus visits, risky drinking, social and academic pressure, anxiety symptoms, negative college adjustment

Total Pages

50 pages


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