[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alcohol expectancies (AEs) are positively associated with drinking behaviors, whereas the use of protective behavioural strategies (PBS) is negatively related to alcohol outcomes among young adults. PBS have been shown to weaken relationships between some alcohol risk factors and alcohol outcomes. This study aimed to examine longitudinally the moderating effect of PBS on the relationships between AEs and alcohol outcomes among young adults.
Participants (N = 188; 61.7% female) were U.S. young adults participating in a larger longitudinal study. Measures of PBS, AEs, alcohol use, and related consequences were used from the baseline and 12-month follow-up assessments.
Negative binomial hurdle models found that PBS (total score) significantly moderated the relationship between positive AEs and consequences, such that among high school seniors endorsing higher positive AEs, those using more PBS in high school reported fewer negative consequences 1 year later. PBS (Manner of Drinking) also moderated the relationship between negative AEs and alcohol use, revealing the use of PBS in high school as having a protective function against later drinking among participants with high positive AEs. Last, PBS (Serious Harm Reduction) significantly moderated the associations between positive AEs and alcohol use and between negative AEs and consequences, such that participants with higher AEs and higher PBS use in high school were at greatest risk for drinking and experiencing negative consequences later.
Overall, these findings suggest that PBS use may be protective by weakening relationships between positive AEs and alcohol outcomes. Limitations and future directions are discussed.
Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 05/2015; 76(3):452-458. DOI:10.15288/jsad.2015.76.452 · 2.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite the documented importance of alcohol outcome expectancies in predicting alcohol use and related consequences, little research has explored within-person variability in expectancies. This article details the construction and psychometric analysis of a measure of alcohol expectancies specifically designed for daily assessment.
We developed a 15-item instrument to measure the likelihood of experiencing various outcomes from drinking, as well as the subjective evaluation of these outcomes. College students (N = 352; mean age = 19.7 years, SD = 1.26; 53.4% female) participated in a yearlong study wherein they completed three computerized interviews daily via mobile phones for 2 weeks in each academic quarter. Multilevel exploratory factor analysis was used to examine dimensionality at between-person and within-person levels, and generalizability coefficients were calculated to establish reliability.
Intraclass correlation coefficients were generally between .30 and .40, demonstrating both between-person and within-person variability. Exploratory factor analysis resulted in a two-factor solution of positive and negative effects of alcohol, and two items with equivocal loadings were dropped from the final scale. The two subscales showed excellent reliabilities at within- and between- person levels, and the measure demonstrated good convergent and discriminant validity with a commonly used expectancy measure.
Drinkers hold many expectations about the effects of alcohol, and measures are needed that are designed to capture both stable and context-dependent aspects of these beliefs. Results demonstrated significant day-to-day variation in the strength and valuation of alcohol expectancies, and the scale demonstrated good psychometric properties that establish its appropriateness for use in daily process studies of alcohol use. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, 76, 326-335, 2015).
Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 03/2015; 76(2):326-35. DOI:10.15288/jsad.2015.76.326 · 2.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Family support and rejection are associated with health outcomes among sexual minority women (SMW). We examined a social ecological development model among young adult SMW, testing whether identity risk factors or outness to family interacted with family rejection to predict community connectedness and collective self-esteem. Lesbian and bisexual women (N = 843; 57 % bisexual) between the ages of 18–25 (M = 21.4; SD = 2.1) completed baseline and 12-month online surveys. The sample identified as White (54.2 %), multiple racial backgrounds (16.6 %), African American (9.6 %) and Asian/Asian American (3.1 %); 10.2 % endorsed a Hispanic/Latina ethnicity. Rejection ranged from 18 to 41 % across family relationships. Longitudinal regression indicated that when outness to family increased, SMW in highly rejecting families demonstrated resilience by finding connections and esteem in sexual minority communities to a greater extent than did non-rejected peers. But, when stigma concerns, concealment motivation, and other identity risk factors increased over the year, high family rejection did not impact community connectedness and SMW reported lower collective self-esteem. Racial minority SMW reported lower community connectedness, but not lower collective self-esteem. Families likely buffer or exacerbate societal risks for ill health. Findings highlight the protective role of LGBTQ communities and normative resilience among SMW and their families.
American Journal of Community Psychology 01/2015; 55(1-2). DOI:10.1007/s10464-015-9702-6 · 1.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: Although recent studies have documented high-risk drinking occurring during Spring Break (SB), particularly on SB trips with friends, published intervention studies are few. In the present study, we evaluated the efficacy of event specific prevention strategies for reducing SB drinking among college students, compared to general prevention strategies and an assessment-only control group, as well as evaluated inclusion of peers in interventions and mode of intervention delivery (in-person vs. web). Method: Participants included 783 undergraduates (56.1% women; average age = 20.5 years) intending to go on a SB trip with friends as well as to drink heavily on at least 1 day of SB. Participants completed assessments prior to SB and were randomized to 1 of 5 intervention conditions: SB in-person Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS; Dimeff, Baer, Kivlahan, & Marlatt, 1999), SB web BASICS, SB in-person BASICS with friend, SB web BASICS with friend, general BASICS, or an attention control condition. Follow-up assessment was completed 1 week after SB. Results: Although the SB web BASICS (with and without friends) and general BASICS interventions were not effective at reducing SB drinking, results indicated significant intervention effects for SB in-person BASICS in reducing SB drinking, particularly on trip days. Follow-up analyses indicated that change in descriptive norms mediated treatment effect and reductions in drinking, whereas SB drinking intentions and positive expectancies did not. Conclusions: Overall, results suggest that an in-person SB-specific intervention is effective at reducing SB drinking, especially during trips. In contrast, interventions that contain non-SB-related content, are web-based, or seek to involve friends may be less effective at reducing SB drinking. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 02/2014; 82(2). DOI:10.1037/a0035743 · 4.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives: Personalized normative feedback (PNF) interventions are generally effective at correcting normative misperceptions and reducing risky alcohol consumption among college students. However, research has yet to establish what level of reference group specificity is most efficacious in delivering PNF. This study compared the efficacy of a web-based PNF intervention using 8 increasingly specific reference groups against a Web-BASICS intervention and a repeated-assessment control in reducing risky drinking and associated consequences. Method: Participants were 1,663 heavy-drinking Caucasian and Asian undergraduates at 2 universities. The referent for web-based PNF was either the typical same-campus student or a same-campus student at 1 (either gender, race, or Greek affiliation), or a combination of 2 (e.g., gender and race), or all 3 levels of specificity (i.e., gender, race, and Greek affiliation). Hypotheses were tested using quasi-Poisson generalized linear models fit by generalized estimating equations. Results: The PNF intervention participants showed modest reductions in all 4 outcomes (average total drinks, peak drinking, drinking days, and drinking consequences) compared with control participants. No significant differences in drinking outcomes were found between the PNF group as a whole and the Web-BASICS group. Among the 8 PNF conditions, participants receiving typical student PNF demonstrated greater reductions in all 4 outcomes compared with those receiving PNF for more specific reference groups. Perceived drinking norms and discrepancies between individual behavior and actual norms mediated the efficacy of the intervention. Conclusions: Findings suggest a web-based PNF intervention using the typical student referent offers a parsimonious approach to reducing problematic alcohol use outcomes among college students. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 08/2013; 81(6). DOI:10.1037/a0034087 · 4.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Self-medication has been theorized to explain comorbidity between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and drinking, whereupon problem drinking develops in order to modulate negative affect and ameliorate PTSD symptoms. Daily monitoring methodologies may help refine our understanding of proximal relations between PTSD, affect, and alcohol use. One hundred thirty-six female college drinkers with a past history of sexual victimization and 38 female college drinkers with no past trauma history completed electronic monitoring of PTSD symptoms, affect, alcohol use, and alcohol cravings, daily for 4 weeks. A two-part mixed hurdle model was used to examine likelihood of drinking and amount of alcohol consumed on drinking days. We found significant relationships between daily PTSD symptoms, affect, and drinking. On days women experienced more intrusive and behavioral avoidance symptoms of PTSD, they experienced stronger urges to drink and were more likely to drink on that day. On days in which women experienced more negative affect than their average, they experienced stronger urges to drink, whereas on days in which women experienced more of the dysphoric symptoms associated with PTSD than their average, they drank less. On days with higher positive affect, women reported stronger urges to drink and were more likely to drink. Results suggest the need to examine both aspects of affect and specific PTSD symptoms as they may differentially predict drinking behavior. Differences in the ways in which PTSD symptoms and affect influence drinking suggest that interventions more specifically address the function of drinking behaviors in reducing alcohol use among college women. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: Marijuana is the most frequently reported illicit substance used on college campuses. Despite the prevalence, few published intervention studies have focused specifically on addressing high-risk marijuana use on college campuses. The present study evaluated the efficacy of an in-person brief motivational enhancement intervention for reducing marijuana use and related consequences among frequently using college students. Method: Participants included 212 college students from 2 campuses who reported frequent marijuana use (i.e., using marijuana at least 5 times in the past month). Participants completed Web-based screening and baseline assessments and upon completion of the baseline survey were randomized to either an in-person brief intervention or an assessment control group. Follow-up assessments were completed approximately 3 and 6 months post-baseline. Marijuana use was measured by number of days used in the past 30 days, typical number of joints used in a typical week in the last 60 days, and marijuana-related consequences. Results: Results indicated significant intervention effects on number of joints smoked in a typical week and a trend toward fewer marijuana-related consequences compared with the control group at 3-month follow-up. Conclusion: This study provides preliminary data on short-term effects of a focused marijuana intervention for college students at reducing marijuana use during the academic quarter. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 06/2013; 81(4). DOI:10.1037/a0033285 · 4.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: College student drinking and related problems have received much attention in the past 20 years with several effective prevention and intervention approaches developed to reduce harmful consequences. Despite great advances, there are known events where young adults are at high risk for excessive alcohol use and negative consequences, such as 21st birthdays, tailgating, and Spring Break (SB) trips. Recently, Event Specific Prevention (ESP) strategies have been successful in reducing alcohol use during 21stbirthdays. However, questions remain regarding to what extent these strategies will work for longer high-risk events as opposed to single day drinking occasions. Going on SB trips is particularly associated with numerous risks including physical, sexual, and legal risks. Thus, the present study adapted an ESP strategy for targeting high-risk SB drinking and negative consequences and examined the comparative efficacy against that of a documented general alcohol intervention (i.e., Brief Alcohol and Screening and Intervention for College Students, BASICS). We evaluated the efficacy of general BASICS and SB-specific in-person and web-based BASICS interventions among college students intending to go on SB trips with friends. Additionally, we explored whether inclusion of friends to receive web-based intervention materials enhanced intervention effects.
Method: Participants included 783 college students (56.1% women, Agem= 20.5) intending to go on a SB trip with friends and who intended to drink heavily on at least one day during SB. Screening and baseline assessments occurred one to eight weeks prior to SB and follow-up occurred one week after SB. Participants were randomized to one of six conditions: SB in-person BASICS, SB in-person BASICS + Friend, SB web BASICS, SB web BASICS + Friend, general BASICS, or an attention control condition.
Results: Results indicated significant intervention effects for SB in-person BASICS in reducing SB drinking compared to the control group, particularly on trip days. Specifically, the SB in-person intervention was associated with fewer drinks consumed and lower eBACs over all days and on the peak drinking day when participants were on a SB trip with friends. Intervention effects were not found in reducing alcohol-related consequences.
Conclusions: Overall, results suggest an in-person SB-specific intervention is effective at reducing SB drinking, especially during trips. In contrast, interventions that contain non-SB related content, are web-based, or seek to involve friends may be less effective. These results argue for development of more targeted interventions for engaging students and changing risk behaviors during specific events.
Society for Prevention Research 21nd Annual Meeting 2015; 05/2013
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: Marijuana is the most frequently reported illicit substance used on college campuses; however few published intervention studies have focused specifically on addressing high-risk marijuana use in this college or university setting. Marijuana use is associated with both short-and long-term consequences, including poor academic performance and attendance, impaired cognitive functioning, deficits related to attention and memory, respiratory problems, and increased heart rate, among others. There is a growing body of research suggesting motivational enhancement interventions may be efficacious for reducing substance use in the context of selective and indicated prevention and treatment. The present study evaluated the efficacy of an in-person brief motivational enhancement intervention for reducing marijuana use and related consequences among frequently using college students.
Method: Participants included 212 college students from two campuses who reported frequent marijuana use (i.e., using marijuana at least 5 times in the past month) who were recruited from a random sample from University registrars’ lists. Participants completed web-based screening and baseline assessments and, upon completion of the baseline survey, were randomized to either receive an in-person brief intervention or to an assessment-only control group. Follow-up assessments were completed approximately three and six months post-baseline. Marijuana use was measured by number of days used in the last 30 days, typical number of joints used in a typical week in the last 60 days, and marijuana-related consequences.
Results: Results indicated significant intervention effects on number of joints smoked in a typical week and a trend toward fewer marijuana-related consequences compared to the control group at three-month follow-up. Specifically, intervention participants reported 24% fewer joints smoked per week relative to control participants (RR = .76, 95% CI [0.60 - 0.96]) at three months, but groups did not differ at six months. Similarly, there was a trend for intervention participants reporting 10% fewer marijuana problems relative to control participants at three months (RR = 0.90, 95% CI [0.76 – 1.07]), which was also not statistically significant at six months. Reported 30 day use was similar across groups at both three and six months, after controlling for baseline use.
Conclusion: This study provides preliminary data on short-term effects of an in-person focused brief marijuana intervention for college students at reducing marijuana use during the academic quarter. While more research is needed, we would tentatively endorse this approach for campuses considering options for responding to students who violate substance use policies related to marijuana.
Society for Prevention Research 21nd Annual Meeting 2015; 05/2013
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: There is growing support for the utility and efficacy of interventions targeting college student risky drinking and related consequences, particularly during predictably high risk drinking occasions such as 21st birthday celebrations and Spring Break (SB). Given that interventions tend to focus mainly on drinking outcomes, little is known about students’ subjective experience of and response to these interventions, both in regard to content and method of delivery (e.g., web vs. in-person delivery). The purpose of the present study was to assess students’ ratings of satisfaction with an intervention designed to target Spring Break drinking and to examine whether these results differed based on prior drinking. An understanding of students’ satisfaction with the information they receive could impart important insight into mediators of intervention efficacy, as well as offer ideas for content development. Further, identifying for whom different modes of intervention work best is beneficial. Method: Participants included 501 college students (56.1% women, average age 20.5) planning to go on a SB trip with friends and planning to drink heavily on at least one day of SB. Participants completed an online assessment approximately one to two months prior to SB. Participants were randomized to view intervention material either online or during a facilitator-led personalized feedback session. All participants completed satisfaction surveys immediately after receiving the intervention. Drinking level at baseline was examined as a moderator between mode of intervention and satisfaction. Results: Mode of intervention was associated with participant satisfaction such that facilitator-led interventions tended to be rated as more impactful, engaging, and satisfying compared to web-delivered interventions (p<.001). Participants’ typical past three-month drinking was not, itself, associated with ratings of intervention satisfaction. However, past three-month drinking moderated the relationship between satisfaction and intervention method. Specifically, the in-person facilitator-led intervention tended to be rated more favorably than the web-delivered intervention, however this was less the case among participants who reported elevated prior drinking. Conclusion: Results indicate that students are open to receiving intervention information, possibly reflecting an acknowledgment of the benefit of such information. However, some students may also be reactive to a lab-based intervention, indicating possible iatrogenic effects of an in-person intervention and affirming the benefit of innovative modes of intervention delivery.
Society for Prevention Research 21nd Annual Meeting 2015; 05/2013
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: This study extends previous examinations of social influences and marijuana use in considering how heavy marijuana users view themselves relative to their peers. We were specifically interested in evaluating whether (a) heavy-using marijuana users would identify more strongly with other users than with typical students, (b) identification with other marijuana users would be more strongly associated with own use, and (c) the association between perceived norms and marijuana use would be moderated by identification with peers. Method: Participants were 107 heavy (five or more times per month) marijuana users who completed an online survey assessing perceived norms for marijuana use, identification with typical students and other marijuana-using students, and marijuana use (frequency of use, joints per week, and hours high). Results: Participants unexpectedly identified more strongly with typical students rather than with other marijuana-using students. Identification with other marijuana users was, however, associated with more use. In addition, perceived norms were associated with more use but primarily among those who identified more with other users but not with typical students. Conclusions: Heavy marijuana users may be reluctant to identify themselves as users and may prefer to think of themselves as typical students. This may provide clinical opportunities to highlight discrepancies. In addition, identification with other users and lack of identification with typical students may be risk factors for heavier use and good indicators of candidacy for norms-based interventions. In sum, the present findings extend our understanding of the influence of social identity among young adult marijuana users and suggest novel directions for intervention strategies. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, 74, 479-483, 2013).
Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 05/2013; 74(3):479-483. DOI:10.15288/jsad.2013.74.479 · 2.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to replicate and extend previous findings (Tollison et al., 2008) on the association between peer facilitator adherence to motivational interviewing (MI) microskills and college student drinking behavior. This study used a larger sample size, multiple follow-up time-points, and latent variable analyses allowing for more complex models to be tested in a sample with different characteristics than Tollison et al. Matriculating students who participated in high school sports (N=327) took part in a Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students led by peer facilitators trained in motivational interviewing (MI). Participants were assessed pre- and immediately postintervention on contemplation to change, as well as pre-, 5months, and 10months postintervention on drinking quantity. Independent coders used the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity scale (Moyers, Martin, Manuel, & Miller, 2003) to evaluate therapist MI adherence. Contrary to our previous study, results indicated that a higher number of open questions was positively related to increases in drinking, especially for heavier drinkers. Congruent with the previous study, more simple reflections was positively related to increases in drinking. Finally, this study revealed that heavier baseline drinking was associated with more simple reflections. There were no significant results found for changes in contemplation. Results corroborate previous findings that the excessive use of simple reflections may be indicative of countertherapeutic outcomes while raising questions about the relationship between the frequency of open questions and therapeutic outcomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate an adapted web-based multi-component personalized feedback intervention to reduce college student alcohol use and risky sexual behavior during Spring Break. This is one of the first interventions focused on Spring Break alcohol use and related sexual behavior. Personalized feedback intervention components addressed intentions, expected consequences, norms, motivations, protective behavioral strategies, and pacts with friends. Participants were college students (N = 263; 55% women) between the ages of 18 and 21 who planned to go on a Spring Break trip with their friends. Effects were not significant in reducing alcohol use or sexual behavior during Spring Break or some of the proposed intervention mechanisms. However, consistent results showed that the intervention succeeded in reducing perceived social norms for Spring Break drinking and sexual behavior. Findings suggest that changing norms alone is not sufficient for changing risk behavior during this event and alternative strategies are needed to impact other putative mediators.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined the relationship between collective self-esteem (i.e., the value one places on being part of a collective group), acculturation, and alcohol-related consequences in a sample of 442 Asian American young adults. We found that membership self-esteem and public collective self-esteem interacted with acculturation such that low levels of both predicted greater rates of consequences. Participants with lower acculturation and greater private collective self-esteem experienced more alcohol consequences. This study suggests that differential aspects of collective self-esteem may serve as protective or risk factors for Asian American young adults depending on degree of acculturation.
Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse 01/2013; 12(1):51-67. DOI:10.1080/15332640.2013.759769
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Motives surrounding alcohol use behavior are important for understanding college student drinking. However, no previous research has addressed how motives for and against drinking during specific events associated with high-risk drinking, such as Spring Break, may differ from motives for and against drinking during the regular semester. Further, we examine the extent to which semester and Spring Break motives are associated with alcohol use, protective behavioral strategies (PBS), and consequences. Participants were college students (N=261; 55% women) who provided data both immediately prior to (Wave 1) and after (Wave 2) Spring Break. Fun/Social motives for drinking were greater for Spring Break, and Driving motives against drinking were lower for Spring Break, compared to semester drinking. Relax and Image motives for drinking and Physical/Behavioral motives for not drinking during Spring Break did not differ from semester motives. Spring Break motives for and against drinking were associated with total drinks, maximum drinks, PBS, and experienced negative consequences during Spring Break. Students' specific motives regarding drinking during Spring Break predict high-risk drinking and may be utilized in creating salient event-specific interventions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although drinking motives have been shown to influence drinking behavior among women with trauma histories and PTSD, no known research has examined the influence of drinking motives on alcohol use and alcohol-related consequences for women with PTSD as compared to women with a trauma history but no PTSD and women with no trauma history. Therefore, the present study sought to examine the associations between drinking motives women held for themselves as well as their perception of the drinking motives of others and their own alcohol use and consequences, and whether this was moderated by a history of trauma and/or PTSD. College women (N=827) were categorized as either having no trauma exposure (n=105), trauma exposure but no PTSD (n=580), or PTSD (n=142). Results of regression analyses revealed that women with trauma exposure and PTSD consume more alcohol and are at greatest risk of experiencing alcohol-related consequences. A diagnosis of PTSD moderated the association between one's own depression and anxiety coping and conformity drinking motives and alcohol-related consequences. PTSD also moderated the association between the perception of others' depression coping motives and one's own consequences. These findings highlight the importance of providing alternative coping strategies to women with PTSD to help reduce their alcohol use and consequences, and also suggest a possible role for the perceptions regarding the reasons other women drink alcohol and one's own drinking behavior that may have important clinical implications.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: American students studying in foreign countries represent a unique group at risk for increased and problematic drinking. Examination of risk and protective factors for negative alcohol-related consequences can lead to the development of efficacious preventive interventions for reducing high-risk drinking while abroad. The present study examined the relationship between sojourner adjustment (i.e., the sociocultural and psychological adjustment of short-term residents in foreign environments), drinking motives, and alcohol-related consequences.
Participants were 248 college students (81% women) who recently completed study-abroad trips and completed online surveys about their drinking motives and behavior, alcohol-related consequences, and sojourner adjustment.
In general, positive sojourner adjustment (i.e., social interaction with host nationals, language development and use, and host culture identification) was protective against negative consequences, whereas negative sojourner adjustment (i.e., social interaction with co-nationals and homesickness/feeling out of place) was associated with increased reporting of consequences. Unexpectedly, the positive sojourner adjustment factor of cultural understanding and participation was associated with greater alcohol-related consequences. Social motives for drinking also predicted consequences. Drinking motives moderated several of the relationships between sojourner adjustment and consequences.
Interest in and adoption of the host country culture may protect against problematic alcohol use; however, this may vary based on students' reasons for drinking. These findings support the need for further examination of sojourner adjustment in college students abroad and indicate potential areas for development of preventive interventions.
Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 10/2012; 73(6):1005-15. DOI:10.15288/jsad.2012.73.1005 · 2.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: While research has documented heavy drinking practices and associated negative consequences of college students turning 21, few studies have examined prevention efforts aimed at reducing high-risk drinking during 21st birthday celebrations. The present study evaluated the comparative efficacy of a general prevention effort (i.e., Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students, or BASICS) and event-specific prevention in reducing 21st birthday drinking and related negative consequences. Furthermore, this study evaluated inclusion of peers in interventions and mode of intervention delivery (i.e., in-person vs. via the Web). Method: Participants included 599 college students (46% male): men who intended to consume at least 5 drinks and women who intended to consume at least 4 drinks on their 21st birthday. After completing a screening/baseline assessment approximately 1 week before turning 21, participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 6 conditions: 21st birthday in-person BASICS, 21st birthday web BASICS, 21st birthday in-person BASICS plus friend intervention, 21st birthday web BASICS plus friend intervention, BASICS, or an attention control. A follow-up assessment was completed approximately 1 week after students' birthdays. Results: Results indicated a significant intervention effect for BASICS in reducing blood alcohol content reached and number of negative consequences experienced. All 3 in-person interventions reduced negative consequences experienced. Results for the web-based interventions varied by drinking outcome and whether a friend was included. Conclusions: Overall, results provide support for both general intervention and ESP approaches across modalities for reducing extreme drinking and negative consequences associated with fuming 21. These results suggest there are several promising options for campuses seeking to reduce both use and negative consequences associated with 21st birthday celebrations.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 07/2012; 80(5):850-62. DOI:10.1037/a0029480 · 4.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Social norms, at the most abstract level, represent society's expectations for appropriate behavior. For most individuals, behavior, attitudes, and self-esteem are heavily influenced by one's perceptions of others' opinions, expectations, and behaviors (Cialdini & Goldstein, 2004; Sherif, 1936). Individuals are not equally influenced by everyone, but rather are more influenced by those with whom they more closely identify (Festinger, 1954; Tajfel, 1982; Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher, & Wetherell, 1987) and whose opinions are of greater value to them (Latane, 1981). For example, previous research has shown that college student drinking is more strongly associated with perceived approval of friends relative to other students (Baer, Stacy, & Larimer, 1991). The present paper offers preliminary evidence for a hierarchical organization of normative social influences on 21st birthday drinking.
In recent years, 21st birthday celebratory drinking has received increasing attention, due largely to the propagation of dangerous and sometimes fatal drinking traditions, such as attempting to drink one shot for each year of life, sometimes in a single hour (Hembroff, Atkin, Martell, McCue, & Greenamyer, 2007; Neighbors, Spieker, Oster-Aaland, Lewis, & Bergstrom, 2005; Rutledge, Park, & Sher, 2008). Intervention strategies designed to curb dangerous 21st birthday drinking have incorporated social norms components and have been met with varying degrees of success (Hembroff et al., 2007; Lewis, Neighbors, Lee, & Oster-Aaland, 2008; Neighbors, Lee, Lewis, Fossos, & Walter, 2009; Smith, Bogle, Talbott, Gant, & Castillo, 2006). A better understanding of the relative influence of social norms on 21st birthday drinking may offer practical suggestions for more effective interventions.
According to this perspective, social networks and associated norms can be thought of as being hierarchically arranged, with smaller and more proximal networks existing within larger and more distal networks. According to this conceptualization, close friends can be thought of as a subset of the people with whom one is acquainted. One's acquaintances, in turn, can be thought of as a subset of members of the subpopulation with which one identifies. The subpopulation is, in turn, a subset of the global population. Although this admittedly is an oversimplified model, as there are likely to be many networks at each of multiple levels for any given individual, it offers unique concrete predictions regarding the relative influence of norms on personal behavior. Moreover, we propose that the influences of more distal norms on behavior are mediated by the influence of more proximal norms. That is, the influence of perceptions of societal beliefs regarding a particular behavior will be due, at least in part, to their association with more subpopulation norms, which will, in turn, be due in part to their association with more proximal norms. In the present paper, we provide preliminary evidence for the hierarchical influence of norms at varying levels of specificity by considering the influence of norms for 21st birthday drinking among college students at three levels (friends, other college students, and society).
Descriptive Statistics and Correlations of 21st Birthday Perceptions and Behavior (N = 293)
Participants were college students turning 21 years old at a large university in the Northwestern United States (N = 293; 58.0% female, 42.0% male; 67.5% Caucasian, 21.2% Asian/Pacific Islander, 2.4% African American, 2.4% Hispanic American, and 6.5% Other). The study took place over a 3½-month period. One week prior to their birthday, college students were asked to complete an online screening survey about their intentions regarding their upcoming 21st birthday celebration; the response rate was 48%. The study focused on assessing a web-based intervention designed to reduce risky drinking during 21st birthday celebrations (see Neighbors et al., 2009 for details). Eligible students were those who intended to engage in alcohol use during their birthdays (i.e., intending to consume at least two drinks during their birthday celebration) and were directed to the baseline survey immediately following the screening. The baseline survey included questions about their societal beliefs, their subpopulation-perceived norms of college students, and their proximal norms of friends' expectations for their own 21st birthday drinking, as described below. In addition, a follow-up survey (post-birthday) assessed actual behaviors during the participant's birthday week.
Societal norms were...
Journal of College Student Development 07/2012; 53(4):581-585. DOI:10.1353/csd.2012.0060 · 0.68 Impact Factor