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Comparison of Computer-Assisted and Self-Management Programs for Reducing Alcohol Use Among Students in First Year Experience Courses

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Education Volume: 42 Issue: 2 Dated: 2012 Pages: 119-135
David J. Lane; Dana F. Lindemann; James A. Schmidt
Date Published
17 pages
This study investigated the use of two different approaches to reducing alcohol use among first year college students.
This study investigated two different approaches to reducing alcohol use among first year college students: a staff-led on-line program called e-Chug (eCHECKUP TO GO) or one of two self-management programs. The study found that students identified as heavier drinkers received greater benefit from participating in the e-Chug sessions, while students identified as lighter drinkers benefited more from participation in the self-management programs. The study also found that light drinkers who participated in the e-Chug sessions increased their level of drinking as compared to light drinkers who participated in one of the two self-management programs. This finding may result from the fact that light drinkers perceived others as consuming higher quantities of alcohol and thus changed their behavior to match that of their peers. These findings suggest that alcohol education programs integrated through college courses, especially for first-year students, can be an effective approach for reducing alcohol abuse among first-year college students. Data for the study were obtained from a sample of first-year college students, n=103, at a public university in the Midwest, who were randomly assigned to participate in 1 of the 2 alcohol intervention programs: e-Chug, or either a peer-led self-management program or a peer-led exercise group. The differences between the two approaches is that e-Chug is intended to provide information to students about their current drinking behavior while the self-management programs focus on how to change the students' individual behavior and reinforce these changes. The study's findings suggest that one size fits all programs are not effective at reducing alcohol abuse among college students. Study limitations are discussed. Tables, figure, and references