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U18 Grantees

College Research Partnership Awards for Rapid Response to College Problems

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

  • PI -- Carol Haertlein, Ph.D.
  • Title of Project: Comparing Two Interventions for Freshmen Violators
  • U01 Researcher Collaborator: James Lange, Ph.D.
  • NIAAA Scientific Staff Collaborator: Marcia Scott, Ph.D.

  • Summary:
    The broad, long-term objective of this project is to reduce alcohol use and associated harm for college freshmen by assisting them to make better choices about alcohol use.

    Specifically, the effectiveness of two interventions will be evaluated for freshmen students living in the residence hall who are found responsible for an alcohol violation (n=600). The students will be randomly assigned to one of two interventions: a group program called Choices About Responsible Drinking – CARD (modified Alcohol Skills Training Program, Miller et al., 2001) or an individual intervention, Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students-BASICS (Dimeff et al., 1999). Both interventions employ informational/educational content, assessment feedback mechanisms, cognitive behavioral skills training, and motivational components. The effectiveness of these interventions will be compared to the usual and customary intervention of a 1:1 meeting with a Residential Program Manager (control group). In addition, the project will assess mediators and moderators of intervention efficacy including baseline drinking rates, implementation modalities, alcohol outcome expectancies, readiness to change, descriptive population norms, and family history of alcohol problems. Outcome measures will be taken at baseline, post-intervention, and 3-, 6-, 9-, 12-, and 18-month follow-ups. Data collection will begin in fall 2005.

    This project will contribute to the knowledge base about interventions for college student drinking in that (a) individuals who have violated an alcohol policy are mandated for alcohol intervention and volunteer, will be randomly assigned to individual and group interventions; mandated students may be resistant and at a precontemplative stage of readiness to change their behaviors, thus moderators of intervention effectiveness can be assessed; (b) although high risk drinkers who are targeted by their campus disciplinary programs (violators) may often be the participants in college drinking studies, the research comparing different intervention approaches is limited, (c) most of the research on effectiveness of group interventions with motivational components has been conducted by the developers of the interventions and their colleagues; it has been suggested that the interventions need to be examined by others (Larimer & Cronce, 2002), and (d) there is limited research that examines the long-term effects of interventions beyond 3 months for college students.

    The project represents a university-wide, campus collaboration of the College of Health Sciences, the Center for Addiction and Behavioral Health Research (CABHR), the Norris Health Center, and the Sandburg Residence Halls. Limitations of this study are the size of groups to measure moderator and mediator effects, the challenges of longitudinal follow-up, and the veracity of student responses.


Last reviewed: 11/23/2005

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