155633 Focused strategies for one college social event reduced binge drinking campus wide

Monday, November 5, 2007: 5:20 PM

Nancy P. Barnett, PhD , Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University, Providence, RI
Environmental strategies are recommended for reducing heavy drinking among college students, but there is little empirical evidence that a specific set of strategies reduces risky behavior on any particular night. Objective: Implement a set of targeted strategies to reduce heavy drinking during one specific social event that had a history of precipitating a high number of alcohol-related intoxication cases on one New England campus. Method: Strategies included modified ticket sales, party management, and advertising, and greater monitoring in residences to prevent “pre-gaming”. Alcohol use on the night of the event was measured in a randomly selected sample of freshmen and sophomores (N = 163 in 2005; N=199 in 2006). Results: The proportion of freshmen and sophomores who reported drinking on the night of the party did not change from 2005 to 2006 (40.0% vs. 39.2%, Χ2(1) = 0.88, ns), but the proportion of students who drank heavily reduced significantly (29.3% vs. 20.1%, Χ2(1) = 3.99, p < .05, ES = .22). The reduction was greater among first-year students (34.3% in 2005 vs. 21.3% in 2006, ES = .29; a 38% reduction). No significant differences were found in past-week alcohol consequences. Conclusions: The findings reflect a 32% reduction in heavy drinking prevalence on a night that historically had a high number of alcohol-related incidents. The reductions were noted in a campus wide representative sample of students, reflecting a broad impact of the prevention strategies on the campus at large, not just among party attendees.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify components of a targeted campus-based prevention program. 2. Describe ways to evaluate prevention programming.

Keywords: Alcohol, Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
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