Significant effort has been committed to developing efficacious alcohol interventions for college students, while little attention has been paid to the needs of the majority of high school seniors who transition to work rather than a four-year college. The long-term objective of this research is to reduce heavy drinking and its consequences among this understudied population. In this 4-year R01 application, we propose to test the efficacy of a Brief Motivational Intervention (BMI) for reducing drinking and related negative consequences in 306 non-college-bound students graduating from traditional public high schools. BMI will be compared to an Alcohol Education (AE) comparison condition in the context of a randomized clinical trial. Outcomes will be evaluated at 6 weeks and 6 months post-intervention to evaluate short- and longer-term intervention effects. As secondary aims, we will also test the effects of BMI on the probability of subsequent help seeking, the use of drinking reduction strategies, the impact of drinking on work performance, the participation in and enjoyment of alcohol-related versus alcohol-free activities, and life satisfaction. This trial is also specifically designed to test a number of potential mediators that may explain how BMI exerts influence on drinking behavior, including BMI's effects on motivation to change drinking, discrepancy-related processes (e.g., actual-ideal drinking discrepancy;cognitive dissonance), self-efficacy, intention/commitment to behavior change, and perceived drinking norms. Finally, the proposed research will examine individual differences that may be related to BMI efficacy including gender, baseline levels of alcohol use and depressive symptoms, and peer drinking. This research fills a gap in the research literature by providing a test of BMI in an understudied population. In the context of this efficient design, we will also contribute to existing knowledge of BMI by testing its effects on previously unexplored secondary outcomes, and testing how and for whom it may influence drinking and related consequences. Project Narrative More than 1 in 3 non-college-bound young adults drink heavily during their senior year of high school. Left untreated, many will experience alcohol-related health, social, and legal problems, and some will develop more severe drinking problems, eventually requiring intensive treatment services. Brief motivational interventions (BMI) have been widely tested with heavy drinking college students and shown to reduce heavy drinking in that population. The proposed research would test the effects of BMI specifically in the under-studied and under-treated population of heavy drinking non-college young adults.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project (R01)
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Health Services Research Review Subcommittee (AA)
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Mattson, Margaret
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Brown University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Colby, Suzanne M; Orchowski, Lindsay; Magill, Molly et al. (2018) Brief Motivational Intervention for Underage Young Adult Drinkers: Results from a Randomized Clinical Trial. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 42:1342-1351
Magill, Molly; Colby, Suzanne M; Orchowski, Lindsay et al. (2017) How does brief motivational intervention change heavy drinking and harm among underage young adult drinkers? J Consult Clin Psychol 85:447-458
Lantini, Ryan; McGrath, Ashlee C; Stein, L A R et al. (2015) Misreporting in a randomized clinical trial for smoking cessation in adolescents. Addict Behav 45:57-62
Colby, Suzanne M; Nargiso, Jessica; Tevyaw, Tracy O'Leary et al. (2012) Enhanced motivational interviewing versus brief advice for adolescent smoking cessation: results from a randomized clinical trial. Addict Behav 37:817-23