The present study is a continuation and further development of a novel program of research designed to reduce the onset and extent of drinking by students during their first year of college, through provision of efficacious individually oriented interventions prior to college entrance.
We aim to influence the drinking behavior of college-bound high school athletes during the spring of their senior year of high school, by enhancing the influence of their parents and/or by introducing them to college student athletes who will serve as peer counselors to provide a brief motivational feedback intervention. Athletes represent a high-risk and understudied group, and existing research indicates high school athletes drink as much as or more than other students. Research also indicates that for many students, excessive drinking in college is a continuation or exacerbation of high-school drinking tendencies. However, almost all current approaches in the college-drinking domain are based on implementing interventions while the students are at college. Further, there have been no theory-driven, systematic interventions targeting high school athletes so as to prevent alcohol misuse as they transition to college. We intend to implement two early interventions for high school student athletes: (1) a Parent-Based Intervention (PBI) based on the work of Turrisi and colleagues and (2) a Brief Peer-delivered Motivational Intervention (BPMI) based on the work of Larimer and colleagues. There is sufficient empirical evidence demonstrating the efficacy of these interventions in college and older adolescent samples to warrant an examination of their unique and combined additive effects for a high-risk high school athlete sample. The integration of these two research programs will provide a unique theoretical framework and a rich database from which to assess the benefits of parent and peer-delivered intervention approaches at this late stage of adolescent development. Thus, the research will investigate, through the use of a factorial design, the unique and combined utility of the PBI and the BPMI to reduce alcohol onset, usage and negative consequences among high school athletes so as to ultimately reduce college student drinking; identify demographic and psychological characteristics of high school athletes for whom the interventions are more effective versus those for whom the interventions are relatively ineffective; and examine processes by which the interventions influence use and negative consequences for students.
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