Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Jonathon A. Cooper, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

John A. Lewis, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Erika Frenzel, Ph.D.


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.