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The Expectancy Challenge Alcohol Literacy Curriculum (ECALC): A Single Session Group Intervention to Reduce Alcohol Use

NCJ Number
Psychology of Addictive Behaviors Volume: 26 Issue: 3 Dated: September 2012 Pages: 615
Abigail B. Fried; Michael E. Dunn
Date Published
September 2012
1 page
The objective of this study was to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Expectancy Challenge Alcohol Literacy Curriculum (ECALC) in reducing risky alcohol use among heavy-drinking college men.

The ECALC is a single session group-delivered program designed to modify alcohol expectancy processes and reduce alcohol use among children and young adults. In the current study, four fraternities at a large state university were randomly assigned to receive either the single session ECALC or a control presentation (two fraternity houses per condition, n = 250). Alcohol expectancies were assessed before and immediately after program presentation. Results demonstrated significant changes on five of the seven subscales of the Comprehensive Effects of Alcohol Scale (CEOA) among students who received the ECALC when compared with control participants. Alcohol-use data were collected for 4 weeks before and 4 weeks after program presentation. Compared with those in the control condition, students who received the ECALC demonstrated significant reductions in all facets of alcohol use measured, including decreased mean and peak blood alcohol content (BAC), decreased mean number of days drinking per week, decreased mean drinks per sitting, and decreased number of binge-drinking episodes per month. This study provides two important advances. First is the significant reduction in risky alcohol use produced by a single session group-delivered program. The second important advance is the success in changing expectancy processes without using impractical elements common in previous expectancy challenge methods (e.g., a "barlab" environment and actual alcohol administration). (publisher abstract modified)