Title

The Relationship Between Parental Notification and Recidivism and Retention of Students Who Violated the University Alcohol Policy

Date of Award

2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Higher Education Administration

First Advisor

Maureen Wilson, PhD (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

Sharon Subreenduth, PhD

Third Advisor

Carolyn Palmer, PhD (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Dafina-Lazarus Stewart, PhD (Committee Member)

Abstract

A 1998 amendment to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act was clear in permitting colleges and universities to notify parents of students under age 21 when they have been found responsible for “a disciplinary violation with respect to such use or possession” of alcohol or any controlled substance (FERPA, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, 1998, p. 4). This study explored the recidivism of students whose parents were and were not notified of their violation of the university alcohol policy between fall 2001 and spring 2008 (seven academic years) at Bowling Green State University. During this period, 1132 students under age 21 were found responsible for violating the university alcohol policy. The independent variable was parental notification and demographic variables of gender, race/ethnicity, class standing, grade point average, and residency (on- or off-campus) were also examined. The dependent variable was recidivism, although enrollment status one year after the violation was also explored.

Results indicated that whether or not parents were notified of the violation, 94% of students did not have a subsequent alcohol policy violation. Men were significantly more likely than women and on-campus residents were significantly more likely than off-campus students to have their parents notified of their violation of the university alcohol policy. Regarding recidivism in the university discipline system for a subsequent alcohol policy violation, students whose parents were not notified of their first non-disruptive violation of the university alcohol policy were significantly less likely than those students whose parents were notified of their first disruptive violation of the university alcohol policy to violate the policy again. Finally, the logistic regression model showed that as grade point average increased, the likelihood of a repeat violation decreased. When the first violation was disruptive, resulting in parental notification, the likelihood of a repeat violation increased. However, the overall model fit of these two predictors (grade point average and violation) was moderate.

This research does support previous findings that indicated that men were significantly more likely than women to be found responsible for violating campus alcohol policies and that students with higher grade point averages are less likely to be found responsible for violating campus alcohol policies a second time. Implications of the findings and recommendations for future research are discussed.