Black students at a predominantly White institution: Alcohol, drugs, and mental health

Calvin Mahony, Rowan University


The purpose of this quantitative study is to understand why Black students use or abuse alcohol and/or drugs while attending a predominantly White institution. Research suggests that the habits of Black students at a PWI are different than those of Black students at an HBCU, therefore, this study was conducted at a PWI to learn about these habits. This study was conducted via an anonymous Qualtrics survey sent to the entire Black or African-American student population at a predominantly White institution. This research found that most Black students at a PWI do not feel pressured to consume alcohol or use drugs but do so for their own personal reasons. However, the reasons for using either drugs or alcohol were different. This study also found that there is not an obvious connection between drug or alcohol usage and sense of belonging. Regarding mental health, this study found that there was a connection between alcohol users and a need/want for mental health services that was disproportionate with the sample. This study also had numerous limitations that create a desire to conduct future research on this topic in a different manner to find more complex answers to the research questions.