"Research shows there is a spike in alcohol-related consequences that occur in the first few weeks of the semester, especially with college freshmen," said Michael J. Cleveland, research associate at the Prevention Research Center and the Methodology Center. "If you can buffer that and get beyond that point and safely navigate through that passage, you reduce the risk of later problems occurring."
The researchers tested two different methods of intervention on incoming freshmen -- parent-based intervention and peer-based intervention. Cleveland and his colleagues found that students who were non-drinkers before starting college, and who received the parent-based intervention, were unlikely to escalate to heavy drinking when surveyed again during the fall semester of their first year.
Students who were heavy drinkers during the summer before college were more likely to transition out of that group if they received either parent-based intervention or peer-based intervention. However, if a heavy-drinker received both interventions, there was no enhanced effect.
Cleveland reported online in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors that 8 percent of the incoming freshmen were heavy drinkers the summer before starting college. The researchers surveyed the students again during the fall semester and found 28 percent of the freshmen now drank heavily.
The results of the study were based on a study of 1,275 high-risk matriculating college students originally conducted in 2006 by Rob Turrisi, professor of biobehavioral health. Turrisi and his colleagues randomly assigned students to one of four intervention groups -- parent-based intervention only, peer-based intervention only, both parent- and peer-based intervention or no intervention -- and then surveyed the students on their drinking behaviors the summer before they entered college and then again during their first fall semester.
The parent-based intervention involved parents receiving a 35-page handbook outlining how to discuss the issue of alcohol and how to relate to their college student. Parents were asked to fill out an evaluation of the booklet, which also served as a measure to determine how many parents read the material. All parents completed the evaluations.
For peer-based intervention, subjects met one-on-one with a trained peer facilitator once within the first two weeks on campus. The meetings were 45 to 60 minutes long and included "perceived and actual descriptive norms for drinking, drinking consequences, alcoholic caloric consumption and hours of exercise required to burn those calories," the researchers report.
All students included in the survey were former high school athletes, chosen because this group is considered at high risk for heavy alcohol use and its consequences, which include risky sex, driving drunk and personal injury or death.
In the new investigation, Cleveland and his colleagues approached the study differently. Rather than focusing on average levels of drinking -- peak blood alcohol content, drinks per weekend and drinks per week -- Cleveland reanalyzed the data using a person-centered approach to determine students' patterns of drinking as well as how the students responded to intervention. This allowed the researchers to examine how drinking patterns varied throughout the week as well as how the interventions could be linked to students' transitions from one sub-group to another.
"We found four sub-groups of drinkers, which is an important advance to understanding different types of drinking that were present in this college sample," said Cleveland.
The sub-groups included non-drinkers, who did not report drinking alcohol at all; weekend non-bingers, who tended to only consume alcohol socially on Fridays and Saturdays; weekend bingers, who were likely to report binge drinking and getting drunk in the past month on Fridays and Saturdays; and heavy drinkers, who reported drinking every day of the week, most notably Thursdays.
Although neither intervention strategy appeared to influence the weekend drinkers, whether bingers or non-bingers, the intervention effects on the nondrinkers and heavy drinkers were promising, said Cleveland.
"From here we may be able to tailor the intervention to different types of students, identifying those students who are at different types of risk," said Cleveland. "By figuring out a way to match the intervention to the individual you can also maximize your resources for intervention."
Cleveland is continuing this work by replicating the results among another sample of college students and is also using the same methods to study the drinking behaviors of young adults who are not attending college.
Also working on this research were Stephanie T. Lanza, scientific director and senior research associate at the Methodology Center and research associate professor of health and human development; Kimberly A. Mallett, clinical director of Alcohol and Skin Cancer Projects and research associate professor at the Prevention Research Center; and Anne E. Ray, now at the Sensation and Emotion Laboratory at the Center of Alcohol Studies at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism both supported this research.
Victoria M. Indivero | EurekAlert!
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy