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Intervention method reduces binge drinking
Date:1/30/2009

e binge drinking more risky than adult drinking is the pattern," said Walters. Forty percent of students in the study reported heavy episodes of binge drinking in the past two weeks.

Research shows males, members of fraternities and sororities, and athletes are more likely to binge drink. Walters believes college students are more motivated to drink because of social pressures, the desire to try new adult roles and a misperception of drinking norms on campus. This pattern of binge drinking makes alcohol consumption riskier and causes problems such as lower grade point averages, vandalism and an increase in violent behavior, including rape.

An important part of the intervention involved a discussion of campus norms around alcohol. According to Walters, "College students tend to misperceive the drinking norms on campus, thinking that other students drink more than they actually do, and are more permissive of drinking and drunkenness than they actually are."

In attempt to correct misperceptions of drinking norms on campuses, students were asked to guess how their drinking compared to other students on campus. The average student in the study guessed 43 percent of students drank more than they did. In actuality, only 17 percent of students drank more than the students in the study. "It can be a real eye-opener. It just never occurred to them that their drinking was above the norm," said Walters.

In the six-month follow-up of the study, students who received the intervention reported consuming 5.26 fewer drinks per week than participants in the control group. The intervention group also had a peak BAC that was 0.039 lower than that of assessment-only participants. Finally, MIF group participants reported a mean alcohol problem score that was 2.32 points lower than study participants who did not receive MIF.


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Contact: Jade Waddy
jade.waddy@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3307
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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