Assessing the effectiveness of peer-facilitated interventions addressing high-risk drinking among judicially mandated college students

TitleAssessing the effectiveness of peer-facilitated interventions addressing high-risk drinking among judicially mandated college students
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsCimini, MD, Martens, MP, Larimer, ME, Kilmer, JR, Neighbors, C, Monserrat, JM
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs Supplement
Date PublishedJul
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number1946-584X (Print)
Accession Number19538913
Keywords*Organizational Policy, Adaptation, Psychological, Adolescent, Adult, Alcohol Drinking/*prevention & control/psychology/trends, Alcohol-Related Disorders/prevention & control, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Health Education/methods, Humans, Male, Mandatory Programs/*statistics & numerical data, Motivation, Peer Group, Program Evaluation, Questionnaires, Risk Factors, Social Conformity, Students/*psychology/statistics & numerical data, Treatment Outcome, Universities/*standards

OBJECTIVE: This study examined the effectiveness of three peer-facilitated brief alcohol interventions-small group motivational interviewing, motivationally enhanced peer theater, and an interactive alcohol-education program-with students engaging in high-risk drinking who were referred for alcohol policy violations. METHOD: Undergraduate students referred for alcohol policy violations (N = 695) at a large northeastern public university were randomized to one of the three conditions. Six-month follow-up data were collected on drinking frequency and quantity, negative consequences, use of protective behaviors, and perceptions of peers' drinking norms. RESULTS: There were no statistically significant overall pre-post effects or treatment effects. However, exploratory analyses indicated that decreases in perceived norms and increases in use of protective behavioral strategies were associated with reductions in alcohol use and alcohol-related problems at follow-up (p < .01). CONCLUSIONS: The presence of nonsignificant pre-post or main effects is, in part, consistent with recent research indicating that sanctioned college students may immediately reduce drinking in response to citation and that brief interventions may not contribute to additional behavioral change. The presence of statistically significant correlations between alcohol use and related problems with corrections in norms misperceptions and increased use of protective behaviors at the individual level holds promise for both research and practice. The integration of elements addressing social norms and use of protective behaviors within brief cognitive-behavioral intervention protocols delivered by trained peer facilitators warrants further study using randomized clinical trials.

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