The overarching goal of this Planning Grant (R34) is to conduct a Stage IA and IB pilot of a behavioral intervention for heavy episodic drinking (HED) and violence among college students. In response to high rates of violence on college campuses, federal guidelines recommend universal violence prevention. However, violence prevention is less effective for individuals who engage in HED. It is imperative to develop and test interventions aligned with theoretically-based and evidence-based models, to target the role of alcohol in sexual assault, provide personalized information relevant to risk and protective factors for HED and violence, and to do so using a mode of delivery that is highly scalable (i.e., mHealth) to address the research-practice gap in college violence prevention. The current project includes the following aims: 1) to modify alcohol and violence prevention content to a personalized mHealth format that addresses risk factors; 2) to obtain usability of the intervention among college students who engage in HED to incorporate user feedback into the intervention content; and 3) to randomize students who engage in HED to an integrated personalized mHealth alcohol and violence prevention program or to a control condition to observe effect sizes and estimate the variability using a 3-month follow-up for designing a larger randomized controlled trial grant application. By accomplishing these aims, we will have established the research team, programming, and feasibility of the research protocol for a large scale, grant application to test the efficacy of this personalized integrated mHealth intervention. This research has the potential to reduce alcohol use among young adults as well as reduce violence among high-risk groups, thereby meeting both NIAAA and national priorities.

Public Health Relevance

Heavy episodic drinking and sexual assault (SA) are problematic on college campuses. This project will adapt already developed interventions targeting alcohol use and SA to a mHealth format and involve content that incorporates federal guidelines and CDC recommendations to integrate both bystander intervention and risk reduction content with new innovative personalized content for each risk group (cis-gender heterosexual men, cis-gender heterosexual women, and sexual/gender minorities). Alpha testing with key stakeholders, an open pilot trial, and a randomized pilot trial will be conducted to establish acceptability and to estimate sample size for a larger randomized controlled trial.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Planning Grant (R34)
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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Initial Review Group (AA)
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Freeman, Robert
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Medical University of South Carolina
Schools of Nursing
United States
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