Expectancies, intervention, alcohol, college
While overall rates of college student drinking have declined slightly since 1980, extreme forms of drinking are escalating. A comprehensive review of all aspects of alcohol use among college students completed by a panel of scientists and college presidents concluded that very few approaches for dealing with student drinking can be considered empirically validated, and they strongly encouraged additional efforts to develop and validate effective strategies. Expectancy challenge approaches designed to reduce risky drinking through changing key expectancies have been identified as one of the few validated strategies, but this approach has not been developed into a format that is reliably effective with females or readily delivered in a single meeting. Widespread implementation of expectancy-based strategies is dependent on further evolution of a pragmatic format of this approach while maintaining effectiveness with groups that has already been established and increasing effectiveness with other groups. The purpose of the present study was to develop and evaluate a new version of expectancy challenge to accomplish two specific goals that are critical for widespread dissemination and implementation. First, new content focused on key expectancies typically held by heavy drinking females was developed in an effort to achieve significant reductions in alcohol use among women. Second, the content of the intervention for men and women was condensed to a single session. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the redesigned expectancy challenge in reducing drinking among high-risk individuals, the intervention was implemented with heavy drinking males and females at a large state university. Exposure to the single session expectancy challenge led to significant changes in alcohol expectancies and significant reductions in subsequent drinking in both males and females in comparison to participants randomly assigned to an active control condition or an assessment-only control condition. These findings represent a critical step in the process of translating a theory-based intervention strategy validated in intensive academic laboratory designs, into a more practical format while maintaining, and even enhancing effectiveness. The single session expectancy challenge developed and validated in this project is more accessible to those seeking effective drinking reduction strategies for college campuses and will encourage further development of pragmatic strategies based on expectancy theory.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Lau, Hoyee, "Development And Evaluation Of A Single-session Expectancy Challenge Intervention To Reduce Alcohol Use Among Heavy Drinking College Students" (2006). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 923.