Evaluation of a Single-Session Expectancy Challenge Intervention to Reduce Alcohol Use Among College Students

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In this study, the authors developed and evaluated a single-session experiential expectancy challenge (EC) intervention, seeking to reduce alcohol use by changing key positive expectancies among moderate to heavy drinking male and female college students. Participants (N = 217) were randomly assigned to attend a 90- to 120-min EC session, CD-ROM alcohol education, or assessment only. Participants were assessed at pretest, posttest, and 1-month follow-up. Exposure to the EC intervention led to significant decreases in alcohol expectancies and subsequent alcohol consumption in both genders at follow-up. No significant changes were evident in either control condition. This study is the first to effectively decrease expectancies and drinking in college students with a single-session EC intervention. Further, although several studies have demonstrated the utility of the intervention with men, it is the first to do so with women. This study represents a critical step in the process of translating an innovative, theory-based intervention into a more practical format that makes it more accessible to those who seek effective drinking-reduction strategies for college campuses.

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