Event-specific prevention: Addressing college student drinking during known windows of risk

Clayton Neighbors, Scott T. Walters, Christine M. Lee, Amanda M. Vader, Tamara Vehige, Thomas Szigethy, William DeJong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


The unique drinking patterns of college students call for Event-Specific Prevention (ESP) strategies that address college student drinking associated with peak times and events. Despite limited research evaluating ESP, many college campuses are currently implementing programming for specific events. The present paper provides a review of existing literature related to ESP and offers practical guidance for research and practice. The prevention typology proposed by DeJong and Langford [DeJong, W. & Langford, L. M. (2002). A typology for campus-based alcohol prevention: Moving toward environmental management strategies. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 140-147.] provides a framework for strategic planning, suggesting that programs and policies should address problems at the individual, group, institution, community, state, and society level, and that these interventions should focus on knowledge change, environmental change, health protection, and intervention and treatment services. From this typology, specific examples are provided for comprehensive program planning related to orientation/beginning of school year, homecoming, 21st birthday celebrations, spring break, and graduation. In addition, the University of Connecticut's efforts to address problems resulting from its annual Spring Weekend are described as an illustration of how advance planning by campus and community partners can produce a successful ESP effort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2667-2680
Number of pages14
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Alcohol
  • College
  • Intervention
  • Policy
  • Prevention


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