Online Program

A longitudinal study of the impact of protective behavioral strategies on student alcohol use and consequences

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lucy Napper, PhD, Department of Psychology, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA
Shannon Kenney, PhD, Psychology Department, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA
Andrew Lac, PhD, Department of Psychology, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA
Joseph LaBrie, PhD, Department of Psychology, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA
Leslie Lewis, BA, Department of Psychology, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA
Protective behavioral strategies (PBS) are harm-reduction skills that can be used to reduce negative consequences sometimes associated with alcohol use. Past research has identified several categories of PBS including Stop/Limiting Drinking (SLD), Manner of Drinking (MOD), and Serious Harm Reduction (SHR). Cross-sectional data suggests that PBS are associated with less alcohol consumption and fewer alcohol problems, however, some types of PBS appear to be more effective than others. Currently, there is a lack of longitudinal research addressing the causal relationships among these variables. This study utilizes data collected at two time points to examine whether different types of PBS are differentially associated with college students' alcohol use and negative consequences. Participants were heavy drinking students who completed an initial survey (T1) and a follow-up survey three months later (T2). Path analysis was used to examine the cross-lagged relationships of PBS, alcohol consumption, and alcohol problems. Results indicated that T1 MOD was associated with less drinking and consequences at T2. In contrast, T1 SHR predicted fewer consequences, but not actual drinking at T2. T1 SLD was not found to predict drinking or consequences at follow-up. Experiences of consequences at T1 were not associated with increases in PBS at follow-up. This could indicate that individuals lack the ability to increase PBS use without specific skills training. The present study demonstrates that MOD and SHR may be more effective than SLD strategies. These findings could have important implications for improving the efficacy of interventions aiming to encourage PBS use among heavy drinking students.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe examples of specific alcohol-related Protective Behavioral Strategies (PBS). Explain the longitudinal relationships among different Protective Behavioral Strategies (PBS), alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems. Identify which types of Protective Behavioral Strategies (PBS) may be most beneficial at reducing alcohol use and related harm among high-risk college students.

Keyword(s): Alcohol Problems, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Shannon Kenney has a Ph.D. in Sociology for Brown University and has over five years experiences working in the field of college alcohol risk. Dr. Kenney has served as the PI for a project aimed at training women to use protective behavioral strategies to reduce the risks alcohol during the transition to college.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.