A survey of college freshmen finds many fewer of them report drinking and smoking in high school, compared with first-year college students in previous years.
In 2014, the survey found 33.5 percent of freshmen said they frequently or occasionally drank beer the previous year, compared with 45.5 percent a decade ago, and 74.2 percent in 1981.
Last year, 38.7 percent of college freshmen said they drank wine or hard liquor in their senior year of high school, down from 52 percent a decade ago, and 67.8 percent in 1987, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Only 1.7 percent of freshmen said they smoked cigarettes frequently their last year in high school, compared with 9.2 percent in 1981.
Almost 11 percent of freshmen said they spent six hours or more a week at parties in their senior year of high school, compared with 23 percent 10 years ago.
Current college freshmen say they are more concerned about financial success, and more hope to attend graduate school, according to the annual American Freshman survey. The research has been conducted for 49 years by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute.
This year's survey was taken by 153,000 students at 227 four-year colleges.
Kevin Eagan, Interim Managing Director of the institute, said the fact that freshmen drank less in high school does not mean they will continue to temper their drinking in college. They may be more tempted to binge drink now that they are away from home for the first time, he said.
The survey found 9.5 percent of freshmen found they frequently felt depressed, compared with 6 percent in 2009. "This is signaling that students are bringing with them some emotional struggles, some mental health issues," Eagan said. Those issues could make it difficult for students to stay in school and earn a degree, he added.