Responsible beverage service (RBS) training originated some quarter century ago to prevent driving under the influence among patrons of public drinking establishments, from which half of DUI arrests and alcohol-related crashes originate. These programs train licensed servers of alcohol regarding medical and legal risks of providing and consuming alcohol. This population is accessible through alcoholic beverage regulatory agency databases. However, the other half of DUI incidents originate in less easily accessed private drinking environments, where knowledge of alcohol effects, risks, and legal implications are less well known. Social hosts can also be held liable for actions of their intoxicated guests and need the same knowledge base provided by RBS training programs to public servers. One of the few accessible social host populations at elevated risk for alcohol problems and legal liability is the membership of college fraternities and sororities. In Phase I we developed a prototype training program addressing public health and liability reduction needs for Greek officers, social leaders and risk managers who face special challenges in protecting minors from alcohol and preventing alcohol abuse in their social groups. Based on a proximal social influence model, this web-training was evaluated by a sample of Greek social leaders at an Oregon University, with promising results. Greek organizations consistently show much higher rates of alcohol use and abuse than other student populations, but provide opportunities to reinforce preventive training content through social influence within stable young adult social systems. Our Web-based program will have several advantages: (1) wide availability independent of physical location of trainees;(2) a standardized curriculum for use by multiple sites within Greek and university systems;(3) continuously available components for refresher, problem- focused or incident-driven trainings;(4) a Web format familiar to young users;and (5) modifiability for a variety of campuses and campus settings. The project will first survey 140 subjects from national fraternities and sororities associated with the nationwide BACCHUS Network and use their suggestions, together with focus group data and recommendations from our scientific and training consultants to develop an expanded and finished web site. This will employ research-based methodologies, draw upon a RBS training web site we have developed for commercial alcohol servers, and include professionally produced video modeling of best practices in challenging social situations identified through our survey and focus group data. We will then test both the usability and effectiveness of the web site to increase knowledge, attitudes of concern, and confidence in applying systemic modifications and social hosting skills in a randomized controlled study of 300 Greek officers, social chairs and risk managers drawn from 60 BACCHUS-affiliated campuses with alcohol-oriented GAMMA chapters. These will be stratified by five geographic regions representing both urban and rural communities across the United States and will include immediate and 30-day post assessments. Follow-up semi-structured interviews will be conducted with a subsample of 30 respondents indicating utilization of the web training ideas or methods at 30 day post-test.

Public Health Relevance

College alcohol abuse is a serious national problem, and is most serious within fraternities and sororities where the rates of heavy drinking are 2-3 times those of other students. We are developing a web-based training for Greek chapter officers, risk managers, and social planners, designed to assist peer leaders to modify the social environments in which risky drinking occurs. The study will evaluate the web based training program in a study of 300 social hosts in fraternities and sororities on 15 college campuses.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPHB-C (10))
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White, Aaron
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Deschutes Research, Inc.
United States
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