Skills training, alcohol focus: Expectancy challenge interventions (ECI)—Experiential
Experiential ECIs assign students to receive alcohol or a placebo, facilitate interaction in a social environment, and then ask students to guess who has or has not imbibed alcohol as a means of challenging students’ positive beliefs about the outcomes of alcohol use. Education on alcohol placebo effects is also provided.
Effectiveness: = Moderate effectiveness
Cost: $$ = Mid-range
Barriers: ## = Moderate
Research Amount: *** = 7 to 10 studies
Public Health Reach: Focused
Primary Modality: In-person group
Staffing Expertise Needed: Coordinator
Target Population: Individuals or specific groups
Duration of Effects: Short-term (< 6 months); no long-term (≥ 6 months) effects
Effectiveness ratings are based on the percentage of studies reporting any positive outcomes. Strategies with three or fewer studies did not receive an effectiveness rating due to the limited data on which to base a conclusion. Cost ratings are based on the relative program and staff costs for adoption, implementation, and maintenance of a strategy. Actual costs will vary by institution, depending on size, existing programs, and other campus and community factors. Barriers to implementing a strategy include cost and opposition, among other factors. Public health reach refers to the number of students that a strategy affects. Strategies with a broad reach affect all students or a large group of students (e.g., all underage students); strategies with a focused reach affect individuals or small groups of students (e.g., sanctioned students). Research amount/quality refers to the number of randomized controlled trials (RCT) that evaluated the strategy. Duration of effects refers to the timeframe within which the intervention demonstrated effects on alcohol-related behavioral outcomes; follow-up periods for short-term effects were <6 months; follow-up periods for long-term effects were ≥6 months.
Larimer, M.E.; and Cronce, J.M. Identification, prevention and treatment: A review of individual-focused strategies to reduce problematic alcohol consumption by college students. Journal of Studies on Alcohol (Suppl. 14):148–63, 2002.
- Darkes, J.; and Goldman, M.S. Expectancy challenge and drinking reduction: Experimental evidence for a mediational process. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 61(2):344–53, 1993.
- Darkes, J.; and Goldman, M.S. Expectancy challenge and drinking reduction: Process and structure in the alcohol expectancy network. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology 6(1):64-76, 1998.
Larimer, M.E.; and Cronce, J.M. Identification, prevention, and treatment revisited: Individual-focused college drinking prevention strategies 1999–2006. Addictive Behaviors 32:2439–68, 2007.
- Musher-Eizenman, D.R.; and Kulick, A.D. An alcohol expectancy-challenge prevention program for at-risk college women. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 17(2):163−6, 2003.
- Wiers, R.W.; and Kummeling, R.H.C. An experimental test of an alcohol expectancy challenge in mixed gender groups of young heavy drinkers. Addictive Behaviors 26(1):215−20, 2004.
- Wiers, R.W.; van de Luitgaarden, J.; van den Wildenberg, E.; and Smulders, F.T. Challenging implicit and explicit alcohol-related cognitions in young heavy drinkers. Addiction 100(6):806−19, 2005.
Cronce, J.M.; and Larimer, M.E. Individual-focused approaches to the prevention of college student drinking. Alcohol Research and Health 34(2):210-21, 2011.
- Lau-Barraco, C.; and Dunn, M.E. Evaluation of a single-session expectancy challenge intervention to reduce alcohol use among college students. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 22(2):168–75, 2008.
- Wood, M.D.; Capone, C.; Laforge, R.; Erickson, D.J.; and Brand, N.H. Brief motivational intervention and alcohol expectancy challenge with heavy drinking college students: A randomized factorial study. Addictive Behaviors 32(11):2509–28, 2007.
References from 2019 update
No studies identified.
For information about intervention designs and implementation, check the articles in the References tab.