Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Jonathon A. Cooper

Second Advisor

John A. Lewis

Third Advisor

Erika Frenzel


Previous studies have suggested that deterrence-based strategies have little impact on underage drinking for college-aged adults. In addition, criminology, education, and nursing majors have been posited to consume more alcohol than others. Using survey questionnaire data from a sample of 233 Indiana University of Pennsylvania students, this study examined the predictive ability of low self-control and general strain theory on underage alcohol use.

The collected data was used to evaluate the following hypotheses:

Hypothesis #1: Criminology majors underage drink due to high levels of low self-control.

Hypothesis #2: Education and nursing majors consume alcohol, while underage, as a response to strain generated from school requirements.

The desire for physical activities is a significant predictor for why criminology majors underage drink. Strain related to a rigorous curriculum is a significant predictor for why education and nursing majors underage drink. Implications are offered in chapter six.