Abstract

Alcohol is the most commonly used substance by adolescents in the United States with underage alcohol use being associated with a variety of harms. The Expectancy Challenge Alcohol Literacy Curriculum (ECALC) is a 45-minute interactive expectancy challenge intervention that has been found to be effective in reducing alcohol use. Although ECALC is thought to produce reductions in drinking by changing expectancies, the nature of these expectancy changes has yet to be explored. The purpose of the present study was to link ECALC outcome studies with a memory model approach to understanding the mechanism by which expectancies influence behavior. Participants (n =131) were college students who reported one binge drinking episode in the past month. Students were randomly assigned to receive ECALC or an alcohol education presentation. Alcohol expectancies were assessed before and after the presentation with a Memory Model-Based Expectancy Questionnaire (MMBEQ) and the Comprehensive Effectiveness of Alcohol Scale (CEOA). Participants were grouped based on experimental condition, time, and sex. Expectancies were mapped into memory network format using Individual Differences Scaling (INDSCAL), and consistent with previous studies, a two dimension solution was optimal (stress = .28, R2 = .81 MMBEQ; stress = .272, R2 = .683 CEOA; stress = .228, R2 = .806 combined analyses). PREFMAP vectors modeling paths of likely expectancy activation suggested a greater likelihood of activating negative and sedating expectancies after completion of the ECALC program. This has been the first study to connect effects of the ECALC to the memory model approach to understanding how expectancies influence drinking behavior. Duration of effects of ECALC have yet to be established, but developing methods to enhance and maintain ECALC effects on expectancy activation patterns is likely to promote lasting reductions in drinking and associated harms.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2020

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Dunn, Michael

Degree

Master of Science (M.S.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Psychology

Degree Program

Psychology Clinical

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0008162

Language

English

Release Date

August 2020

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

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