What Do College Student Drinkers Want to Know? Student Perceptions of Alcohol-Related Feedback

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Abstract

Despite major advances and success in finding effective interventions for problematic drinking among college students, personalized feedback interventions (PFIs) continue to include a range of components that vary widely across intervention trials. To facilitate research regarding which feedback components may be most effective, the present research provides preliminary evidence regarding student perceptions of and preferences for different types of feedback components. Undergraduate student drinkers (n = 397, 41% male) rated their affinity for and skepticism of 14 feedback components and identified the feedback components that they most preferred. The majority of students preferred information regarding descriptive normative comparisons and the practical costs of drinking, whereas few reported a desire to learn behavioral strategies to limit risk or didactic information. High-risk drinkers (n = 228) reported lower ratings for all feedback components than did low-risk drinkers, and men (n = 162, 41%) provided significantly lower ratings for all feedback components than did women. This is the first study to document student preferences for the different feedback components included in PFIs. The current study generates hypotheses regarding components that may increase the efficacy of current feedback interventions for high-risk drinking.

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