Does College Alcohol Consumption Impact Employment Upon Graduation? Findings From a Prospective Study

Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported online in Journal of Applied Psychology on Oct 5 2017 (see record 2017-44578-001). In the original article, the authors incorrectly used the term ìprobabilityî instead of the term ìoddsî when relating to the impact of drinking in college on post-graduation employment. The abstract should note ìa roughly 10% reduction in the odds . . .î, and in the 2nd paragraph of the Discussion section, (a) ìa roughly 10% lower probabilityî should be ìa roughly 10% lower oddsî, and (b) ìtheir probability of full-time employment upon graduation is roughly 6% lower than . . .î should be ìtheir odds of full-time employment upon graduation is roughly 6% lower than . . .î All versions of this article have been corrected.] Although scholars have extensively studied the impact of academic and vocational factors on college studentsí employment upon graduation, we still know little as to how studentsí health-related behaviors influence such outcomes. Focusing on student alcohol use as a widely prevalent, health-related behavior, in the current study, we examined the employment implications of student drinking behavior. Drawing from literature examining the productivity effects of drinking and research on job search, we posited that modal quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption, as well as the frequency of heavy episodic drinking (HED) adversely impact the probability of employment upon graduation. Using data from 827 graduating seniors from 4 geographically diverse universities in the United States collected in the context of a prospective study design, we found modal alcohol consumption to have no adverse effect on the likelihood of employment upon graduation. However, we did find a significant adverse effect for the frequency of heavy drinking, with the data suggesting a roughly 10% reduction in the odds of employment upon graduation among college seniors who reported engaging in the average level of HED. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)