Ben Fitzpatrick
Ecological Systems Modeling of College Drinking

Heavy drinking among college students remains a pervasive problem that places students at considerable risk for a variety of negative outcomes. Over the past several decades considerable public and institutional resources have been dedicated to addressing the problem. There is growing interest in the public health and policy area for environmental solutions involving policies to change alcohol environments that lead to problem drinking. In this talk we describe dynamical systems models of college populations in terms of drinking behavior. We consider both deterministic and stochastic compartmental models. We will also present parameter estimation results in which the model is compared to survey data from colleges and universities across the US, and we will discuss some implications for changes in the minimum legal drinking age.

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