Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling & Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Jeffrey Daniels

Committee Co-Chair

James Bartee

Committee Member

Edward Jacobs

Committee Member

Ian Kellems

Committee Member

Christine Schimmel


Increasing numbers of students have been presenting for mental health treatment on college campuses to address their alcohol use (Gallagher, 2010). The goal of the current study was to examine the relationship between presenting alcohol use, family distress, college generational status (first-generation to college or non-first-generation to college), and financial distress. By examining the predictive nature of these variables screening could be improved to help identify and help students who are more at risk of experiencing the negative impact of alcohol use. It was hypothesized that higher levels of family distress, more financial stress, and being a first-generation college student would predict higher levels of alcohol use. The results that were obtained did not support this hypothesis. Conversely, first-generation college student status was negatively correlated to alcohol use, although the effect was small. Future research examining the relationship of first-generation college student status and risk factors will inform best practices and improve interventions and assessments with this population.