Research from Milan about how student transitions affect at-risk behaviors

February 25, 2015 8:09 AM | Deleted user

Giovanni Aresi, Ph.D

Department of Psychology

Catholic University of Milan (Italy)

Study abroad students represent a growing population of Emerging adults sojourners (more than 250,000 students each year in the U.S. and just as many in Europe).

Although spending a period of study in a foreign country is a unique personal and educational opportunity, what do we know about study abroad students' engagement in at-risk behaviors? Do they change their drinking habits while abroad? do they try out drugs? What happens when they return home? What factors may predict at-risk behaviors while abroad? What interventions may prove to be useful to reduce health negative consequences?

The literature show that emerging adults facing a transition to a new environment may be at increased risk for the adverse consequences of excessive alcohol and drug consumption, which may be exacerbated due to limited social resources and with limited host country language skills.

For the next two years I'm going to study how the transition in and out of the host country affects study-abroad university students' at-risk behaviors. This European-wide study start with a research on factors related to students' alcohol abuse before, during and after being abroad and continuing with the development of an intervention to reduce alcohol-related risks for this target group

It is a great opportunity for me to share ideas with colleagues of the SSEA and being part of a nascent group of professionals and researchers interested in the study abroad topic.