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




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Dvorak, Robert


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Sciences




Orlando (Main) Campus



Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Release Date