Providing Personalized Feedback Regarding Alcohol Use in a Group Format to College Freshmen
Type of DegreeDissertation
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College student alcohol use has become an increasing public health concern in recent years. In particular, risky alcohol use behaviors such as binge drinking episodes and methods in which to intervene have become areas of clinical and research interest. This document reviews the history of college student alcohol use including prevalence and associated negative consequences. Additionally, the development of brief interventions and the application to college student drinkers is described. Specifically, the Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) program is reviewed. Research supports the use of such a brief intervention to reduce risky alcohol use patterns among college students. However, research is limited regarding intervening with college freshmen. More specifically, little is known about how current interventions may be modified to suit this unique college student population. The BASICS program was modified from a one-on-one intervention to a classroom based intervention. Participants included 185 Auburn University freshmen enrolled in 14 sections of The Auburn Experience (UNIV 1000) course. Participants were randomly assigned by section to receive either a personalized lecture regarding their alcohol use or a generic lecture about alcohol. Participants self-reported their alcohol use patterns at baseline and again at a 5 week follow-up assessment. The results of this study do not support the use of a classroom based, personalized feedback intervention among college freshmen to reduce the quantity, frequency, or related negative consequences of alcohol use. However, the results indicated some change in students’ peer perceptions of alcohol use and their readiness to change their alcohol use patterns from baseline to follow-up. Suggestions for future research are provided.