A duty of care: non-drinkers and alcohol related harm among an Australian university sample

Katja Mikhailovich, Amanda George, Debra Rickwood, Rhian Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Studies documenting the harm associated with excessive drinking amongst university students are numerous. Fewer studies have explored the experience of non-drinkers in the university setting. In 2008, 826 students aged 18–29 years responded to an online survey aiming to investigate alcohol use and alcohol related harm at an Australian university. In addition, focus groups were conducted with drinkers and non-drinkers exploring their experience of alcohol exposure at university. This paper reports on the reasons students choose not to drink alcohol and on alcohol related harm witnessed or experienced by non-drinkers and drinkers. The results indicated that most non-drinkers reported health concerns as the main reason for not drinking and reported witnessing a range of alcohol related harm including disturbances to sleep, property damage, verbal abuse, driving after drinking and intimidation of international students. The paper discusses the duty of care implications for university administrators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-604
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Higher Education Policy and Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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