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Testing the Effectiveness of E-mailed Basics Feedback with College Students




Bryant, Zachary E.

Type of Degree



Counseling Psychology


This study was conducted to test the effectiveness of the Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) when delivered to students via e-mail. Participants (N = 191) enrolled in Introduction to Psychology courses completed baseline measures of their use of alcohol and related consequences. Students were then randomly assigned to one of two conditions: e-mailed BASICS feedback or generic feedback. Students who received e-mailed BASICS feedback reported at a 6-week follow-up that they had significantly reduced the typical number of drinks they consumed in a given week, as well as the number of days they reported being drunk in the previous 30 days. They also exhibited a significant reduction in the number of days they perceived the typical student of their gender to have drunk alcohol, as well as a reduction in the amount of alcohol they perceived the typical student of their gender to consume per drinking occasion. Although non-significant, a trend in the lessening of the number of days that participants felt light-headed or high from drinking in the 30 days prior to follow-up was observed. Similar non-significant trends in the number of alcohol-related consequences experienced by those who received e-mailed personalized feedback were also observed. E-mailed personalized feedback appears to help students become more aware of normative drinking behavior and reduce the quantity of alcohol they consume. The low cost associated with generating electronic feedbacks and ease with which e-mailed feedback can be delivered makes this an appealing intervention if nested within a larger alcohol prevention effort.