Randomized controlled trial of a web-delivered personalized normative feedback intervention to reduce alcohol-related risky sexual behavior among college students

Melissa A. Lewis, Megan E. Patrick, Dana M. Litt, David C. Atkins, Theresa Kim, Jessica A. Blayney, Jeanette Norris, William H. George, Mary E. Larimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of personalized normative feedback (PNF) on college student alcohol-related risky sexual behavior (RSB). Method: In a randomized controlled trial, 480 (57.6% female) sexually active college students were stratified by gender and level of drinking and randomly assigned to an alcohol-only intervention, an alcohol-related RSB-only intervention, a combined alcohol and alcohol-related RSB intervention, or control. All assessment and intervention procedures were Web-based. Results: Results indicated a significant reduction in drinking outcomes for the alcohol only and the combined alcohol and alcohol-related RSB interventions relative to control. Findings further demonstrated a significant reduction in alcohol-related RSB outcomes for the alcohol-related RSB only and the combined alcohol and alcohol-related RSB interventions relative to control. There were no significant intervention effects on alcohol-related negative consequences. These findings demonstrate that the combined alcohol and alcohol-related RSB intervention was the only intervention successful at reducing both drinking and alcohol-related RSB outcomes relative to control. There were no significant differences when comparing the combined alcohol and alcohol-related RSB intervention to the alcohol-only intervention or the alcohol-related RSB-only intervention. Finally, results suggested that the intervention effects on high-risk behaviors were mediated by reductions in descriptive normative perceptions. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that PNF specific to drinking in sexual situations was needed to reduce alcohol-related RSB. Furthermore, this study highlights the potential utility of a brief intervention that can be delivered via the Internet to reduce high-risk drinking and alcohol-related RSB among college students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-440
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Volume82
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Keywords

  • alcohol
  • descriptive norms
  • personalized normative feedback
  • risky sexual behavior

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