Alcohol Interventions for Mandated Students (Project AIMS)
Logan, Diane E.
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College student drinking continues to be a significant problem, with consequences directly impacting students, institutions, and communities. While research with volunteer participants generally supports the use of cognitive behavioral and motivational interventions in reducing drinking quantities and consequences, research with mandated students (students referred for an intervention following violation of a campus alcohol policy) continues to produce mixed results. The current study evaluated the effectiveness of three interventions: Alcohol Skills Training Program (ASTP) groups, Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) feedback sessions, and Alcohol Diversion Program (ADP) treatment-as-usual education groups in a sample (N = 61) of mandated students. Pre-intervention behavior change and intervention techniques were also evaluated. Attitudes toward campus policies, readiness to change, intervention satisfaction, and reactions to the sanctioning incident were examined as moderators of intervention efficacy. Finally, defensiveness, norms perceptions, protective behavioral strategies, and alcohol expectancies were examined as mediators of behavioral change. Results revealed a significant pre-intervention decrease in monthly drinks and drinking days. There was a significant effect of time for reductions in blood alcohol content (BAC) and weekly drinks but not consequences. While ASTP and BASICS participants reported decreases in BAC, ADP participants experienced increases over time. Reductions in consequences were related to ASTP participation and lower policy support at baseline. Low external responsibility for the incident predicted greater reductions in BAC, and greater incident aversiveness predicted lower BAC and weekly drinks. Increases in pre-intervention defensiveness were more pronounced among ADP participants as well as male, older, and Greek students. Finally, decreases in overall defensiveness were associated with ASTP participants and more in-session complex reflections. Results from this study suggest a complex relationship between mandated student characteristics and interventions, highlighting potential iatrogenic effects from education-only mandated group interventions, the importance of incident reactions on behavior change, and factors associated with pre- and post-intervention defensiveness.
- Psychology