Specific events pose documented increases in health risk behaviors, including heavy alcohol use and risky sexual behavior, among college students. However, the co-occurrence of these two behaviors within-persons and the cross-behavior associations between motivations and consequences are not well addressed by intervention programs. Promoting health during time-limited and event-specific periods requires innovative intervention strategies that are based on personalized feedback of context-specific motivations, intentions, and consequences. Addressing the associated risks between college student alcohol and sexual behaviors may have particular relevance for young adult health. Therefore, this proposal seeks funds to develop and test a brief motivational web-based intervention that utilizes personalized feedback to reduce high risk behaviors and negative consequences among college students. During Year 1, a brief motivational feedback intervention will be developed to reduce heavy alcohol use, alcohol-related risky sex, and associated negative consequences. Qualitative feedback from college student focus groups will be used to refine content and delivery. In Year 2, a randomized control trial will be conducted. All assessments and intervention delivery will be on-line. An immediate post-event assessment using timeline follow-back reports of daily behavior and experiences will be used to test the efficacy of the program. In addition, a six-month follow-up will assess potential effects on long-term alcohol- and sex-related consequences (e.g., alcohol problems, unwanted pregnancy) and the mediating role of protective behavioral strategies, perceived norms for drinking and sex, and pacts with friends. This intervention has the potential to advance our understanding of event-specific peaks in alcohol use and related behaviors and to mitigate associated negative consequences (i.e., alcohol poisoning, STD contraction) among adolescents and young adults.

Public Health Relevance

This research project is designed to promote health among college students by developing and empirically testing a brief web-based intervention program, designed to reduce the high-risk alcohol use and sexual behaviors that have been documented as occurring during situational high risk periods. If found efficacious, the program has the potential to mitigate both the acute the negative health consequences (e.g., injury, alcohol poisoning) and the long-term health consequences of young adult risk behaviors (e.g., alcohol problems, STDs, unwanted pregnancy).

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Small Research Grants (R03)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPHB-B (02))
Program Officer
White, Aaron
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Biostatistics & Other Math Sci
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Ann Arbor
United States
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Lee, Christine M; Patrick, Megan E; Geisner, Irene Markman et al. (2017) Individual, interpersonal, and contextual factors associated with discrepancies between intended and actual spring break drinking. Addict Behav 69:42-47
Lewis, Melissa A; Sheng, Elisa; Geisner, Irene M et al. (2015) Friend or foe: Personal use and friends' use of protective behavioral strategies and spring break drinking. Addict Behav 50:96-101
Patrick, Megan E; Lee, Christine M; Neighbors, Clayton (2014) Web-based intervention to change perceived norms of college student alcohol use and sexual behavior on spring break. Addict Behav 39:600-6
Lewis, Melissa A; Patrick, Megan E; Mittmann, Angela et al. (2014) Sex on the beach: the influence of social norms and trip companion on spring break sexual behavior. Prev Sci 15:408-18
Litt, Dana M; Lewis, Melissa A; Patrick, Megan E et al. (2014) Spring break versus spring broken: predictive utility of spring break alcohol intentions and willingness at varying levels of extremity. Prev Sci 15:85-93
Lewis, Melissa A; Patrick, Megan E; Litt, Dana M et al. (2014) Randomized controlled trial of a web-delivered personalized normative feedback intervention to reduce alcohol-related risky sexual behavior among college students. J Consult Clin Psychol 82:429-40
Patrick, Megan E; Lewis, Melissa A; Lee, Christine M et al. (2013) Semester and event-specific motives for alcohol use during Spring Break: associated protective strategies and negative consequences. Addict Behav 38:1980-7
Patrick, Megan E; Singer, Eleanor; Boyd, Carol J et al. (2013) Incentives for college student participation in web-based substance use surveys. Addict Behav 38:1710-4
Patrick, Megan E (2013) Daily associations of alcohol use with sexual behaviour and condom use during Spring Break. Drug Alcohol Rev 32:215-7
Noonan, Devon; Patrick, Megan E (2013) Factors associated with perceptions of hookah addictiveness and harmfulness among young adults. Subst Abus 34:83-5

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