21st Birthday Celebratory Drinking: Evaluation of a Personalized Normative Feedback Card Intervention

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Abstract

This research was designed to evaluate a personalized normative feedback birthday card intervention aimed at reducing normative perceptions, alcohol consumption, and negative consequences associated with 21st birthday celebrations among college students (N = 281; 59.15% women). Students were randomly assigned to receive or not receive a birthday card about 1 week prior to their 21st birthday. Approximately 1 week following their birthday, students were asked to complete a brief survey concerning their birthday celebration activities. Findings indicated that the birthday card intervention was not successful at reducing drinking or consequences; however, the card did reduce normative misperceptions. Additional findings indicated that many students experienced negative consequences, such as passing out or driving after consuming alcohol. Combined, these findings suggest that prevention is needed for drinking associated with turning 21. However, prevention efforts should consist of more than a birthday card.

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