Personalized feedback interventions for college alcohol misuse: An update of Walters and Neighbors (2005): Bulletin of the society of psychologists in addictive behaviors: Bulletin of the society of psychologists in substance abuse

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[Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 27(4) of Psychology of Addictive Behaviors (see record 2013-44431-003). There was an error in the coding of content components in a few studies. The Carey et al. (2009, 2011), Juarez et al. (2006), Walters (2000), and Walters et al. (2000) studies did not include decisional balance content. As a result of this, the article included an error in the calculation of effect size comparisons for this intervention component. In light of these corrections, there is no significant difference between the short-term effect sizes of written interventions that included or excluded the decisional balance component. Conclusions regarding the relative efficacy of decisional balance as a component of PFI content in the article are unfounded and should be disregarded. There were also a few errors in the tables, the corrected tables appear in the correction.] Personalized drinking feedback is an evidence-based and increasingly common way of intervening with high-risk college drinking. This article extends an earlier review by Walters and Neighbors (S. T. Walters & C. Neighbors, 2005, Feedback interventions for college alcohol misuse: What, why, and for whom? Addictive Behaviors, 30, 1168-1182) by reviewing the literature of published studies using personalized feedback as an intervention for heavy drinking among college students. This article updates and extends the original review with a more comprehensive and recent set of 41 studies, most of which were not included in the original article. This article also examines within-subject effect sizes for personalized feedback interventions (PFIs) for high-risk alcohol use and examines the content of PFIs more closely to provide insight on the most essential components that will guide the future development of feedback-based interventions. In general, PFIs appear to be reliably effective at reducing harmful alcohol misuse among college students. Some components are almost universally included (i.e., drinking profile and normative comparison), precluding inferences regarding their unique contribution. Significantly larger effect sizes were observed for interventions that included decisional balance, practical costs, and strategies to limit risks. The present research provides an important empirical foundation for determining the relative contribution of individual components and facets in the efficacy of PFIs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-920
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013


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