Differential Effects and Temporal Course of Attentional and Motivational Training on Excessive Drinking

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Two cognitive-motivational variables that help to solidify drinkers’ intentions to drink are their alcohol attentional bias and their maladaptive motivation. The Alcohol Attention Control Training Programme (AACTP) was designed to rectify the former, and the Life Enhancement and Advancement Programme (LEAP) was designed to rectify the latter. The present study used a factorial design to compare the individual and combined effects of the 2 interventions on mean weekly drinking and atypical weekly drinking of 148 harmful drinkers (49% males, mean age = 28.8 years). A variety of other cognitive-motivational and demographic measures were also taken at baseline, and the drinking measures were reassessed at posttreatment and 3 and 6 months later. In comparison with LEAP, the effects of AACTP were less enduring. Combining AACTP and LEAP had few incremental benefits. These results suggest that AACTP would be more effective for achieving short-term reductions in drinking, whereas LEAP would be more effective for alleviating problematic drinking.

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