alcohol, personalized feedback, mandated student, adjudicated, brief intervention, college student


The present study examined the effectiveness of personalized alcohol feedback interventions in three different delivery formats on alcohol use and related negative consequences in a sample of mandated college students referred for alcohol-related violations. Participants were randomized to one of three conditions: an individually-delivered face-to-face intervention, a group-delivered face-to-face intervention, or a web-based electronically-delivered intervention. Given that the current study sought to modify factors associated with alcohol use, analyses were conducted using only those participants who reported alcohol use at the baseline assessment. The final sample resulted in 173 participants, 18-years-of-age and over, and consisted of 57% males (n = 98) who ranged in age from 18 to 25 years, with a mean age of 18.77 (SD = 1.08). The sample distributions in the individual, group, and electronic conditions were 53 (35 males), 72 (41 males), and 48 (22 males), respectively. Self-reported participant race was 82% White, 9% "Other", 4% Black, 4% Asian, and 1% American Indian or Alaska Native, with 91% classifying their ethnicity as Non-Latino/a. Participant class standing consisted of 69% freshmen, 21% sophomores, 6% juniors, and 4% seniors. The type of housing participants reported living in was comprised of 51% on-campus residence hall, 24% off-campus without parents, 20% university-affiliated off-campus, 2% off-campus with parents, 2% "other" type of housing, and 1% who reported living in a fraternity/sorority house. Findings revealed statistically significant reductions in alcohol use for the individually-delivered intervention, and statistically significant reductions in alcohol-related harms for the individually- and electronically-delivered interventions. No statistically significant results were found for the group-delivered intervention. This study is the first randomized clinical trial to compare an empirically supported individually-delivered personalized alcohol feedback intervention with more cost-effective group- and electronically-delivered feedback formats within a single research design. This examination also sought to add to the extant literature on mandated college students by expanding the range of participant drinking habits reported at baseline to include all drinking levels (excluding those meeting criteria for alcohol dependence), not solely those classified as 'heavy drinking,' as is the typical research convention. Additionally, given the potential demand characteristics to underreport illegal and/or illicit behaviors, this is the first study to provide mandated college students with anonymity pre- and post-intervention. Suggestions for future research, limitations of the current investigation, and implications for the development and improvement of personalized feedback interventions and of interventions aimed at mandated college students are also discussed.


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Graduation Date



Dunn, Michael


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Sciences



Degree Program









Release Date

August 2013

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Included in

Psychology Commons