Alcohol abuse among college students remains a serious public health problem. Concerted efforts to reduce alcohol abuse and the associated consequences have been made by most colleges and universities, with varying degrees of success. This project capitalizes on the latest research in college alcohol abuse and instructional technology. The primary goal of this Phase II SBIR project is to demonstrate the effectiveness of an Internet-based alcohol education course at changing mediating variables associated with high-risk alcohol use and related problems among college students: alcohol intentions, expectancies, and normative beliefs. Initial tasks to be completed include: (1) refining the curriculum and Internet program based on the results of Phase I; (2) creating an instruction manual for college and university faculty who may be teaching the course; and (3) collecting and editing chapters for a book of readings (online and hard-copy versions) that will reflect the research of experts in the field of college alcohol abuse and supplement the course curriculum and unit activities. Once these developmental tasks are completed, a usability study will be conducted, and if necessary, modifications to the course will be made. During the second year of the study, an independently evaluated, randomized field trial will be implemented. Approximately 1,000 students at a Southeastern university will be randomly assigned to either receive the course early in the fall semester or to serve as wait-list controls (i.e., they will receive the course after the completion of the immediate posttest survey and the three- and six-month follow-up surveys). The results of this study have the potential to inform us about the effectiveness of targeting research-based mediators in a format that is almost universally available to college students, distance learning via the Internet. This course has the potential to improve the way college alcohol abuse prevention efforts are implemented, evaluated, and disseminated.
|Bersamin, Melina; Paschall, Mallie J; Fearnow-Kenney, Melodie et al. (2007) Effectiveness of a Web-based alcohol-misuse and harm-prevention course among high- and low-risk students. J Am Coll Health 55:247-54|