This study investigated the effectiveness of a two-component, personalized feedback intervention for reducing alcohol use among adults, aged 18-35, who meet criteria for problem drinking. All recruitment and intervention procedures were conducted over the internet. The study compared the effects of personalized social norms feedback alone, to social norms feedback plus feedback about the individual's level of risk and harm, and to an educational intervention (control group). The interaction of age with the effectiveness of each component of the intervention was also examined.
Participants were 276 young adults, with a mean age of 25.38 years, who responded to internet advertisements and met criteria for problem drinking. The study used a randomized, three-group, repeated-measures experimental design with alcohol use and alcohol-related problems assessed at a one-month follow-up. All follow-up participants (53.3%) significantly reduced their alcohol use and alcohol-related problems. Results also indicated no differences between the control and experimental conditions at follow up, and age did not moderate the outcomes.
The results demonstrated the feasibility of using the internet to reach a varied population of young adult problem drinkers outside a college setting who may otherwise not be reached for secondary prevention efforts. Participants' qualitative reactions and recollection of the feedback at baseline and follow up suggested that either the hypothesized differences were not found because normative feedback was salient for participants who received personalized feedback, or participants may not have accurately recalled the information provided. The results also suggested that young adult problem drinkers may respond to relatively little educational or normative information delivered online using an anonymous procedure.
Directions for future research investigating brief online interventions with young adult problem drinkers include assessing the validity of (a) measures of alcohol use, (b) alcohol-related problems, and (c) other alcohol-related behaviors for use in such research. It is also recommended to investigate injunctive norms, context specific drinking, and positive experiences related to alcohol use.
|Advisor:||Friedlander, Myrna L., Martens, Matthew P.|
|Commitee:||Murphy, James G.|
|School:||State University of New York at Albany|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-B 74/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Counseling Psychology, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||Alcohol use, Binge drinking, Brief interventions, Emerging adults, Online interventions, Young adults|
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