Abstract

OBJECTIVE: An alcohol-drinking culture exists among first-time-in-college students, where many of these students come to their university relatively inexperienced with alcohol, which may increase alcohol-related consequences. Several interventions exist to combat this campus problem. The current study investigates the use of a Deviance Regulation Theory (DRT) intervention, presented in a web-based manner, to increase alcohol Protective Behavioral Strategies (PBS), such as monitoring drinks, using a designated driver, and drinking water in between alcoholic beverages, among college freshmen. METHOD: College freshmen participants (N = 157) completed web-based surveys examining alcohol behaviors once a week for six weeks. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: a positive frame about individuals who used PBS, a negative frame about individuals who did not use PBS, or a control group that did not receive a DRT intervention. Participants also reported their perception of PBS use among UCF students and friend. Data was analyzed in each PBS subtype: Manner of Drinking, Stop/Limiting Drinking, and Serious Harm Reduction. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Results indicate a negatively framed message with high perceived norm levels results in increased PBS use, which may suggest college freshmen have a strong drive to "fit in", or avoid standing out in negative ways. Further, there seems to be little desire to standout in positive ways among first-year students. This may be indicative of individuals who modify their behavior in order to assimilate to a new and unfamiliar environment. Furthermore, some PBS strategies were associated with decreases in alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems. Results suggest a DRT intervention may be beneficial to first-time-in-college students.

Thesis Completion

2018

Semester

Fall

Thesis Chair

Dvorak, Robert

Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Psychology

Location

Orlando (Main) Campus

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Release Date

12-1-2019

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