Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Alcohol misuse among college students is prevalent. Personalized feedback interventions (PFIs), which include personalized normative feedback interventions (PNFs), are effective in reducing alcohol use and related problems among college students. However, students with elevated negative affect report poorer outcomes after interventions that include PNF components. Yet there is a lack of effective PFIs that target both risky alcohol use and negative affect. The current study examined the efficacy of a novel brief online PFI for risky alcohol use and negative affect. Participants were 360 current undergraduates (80.6% female, 69.7% non-Hispanic/Latin White, Mage = 20.90) who endorsed at least one past-month binge drinking episode and past-month drinking to manage negative moods. Participants were randomly assigned to receive a PFI (n = 114; including content regarding both negative affect and PNF for alcohol use behaviors), a PNF (n = 124; including PNF regarding alcohol use behaviors only), or an assessment-only control condition (n = 122). There was no direct effect of condition on one-month follow-up peak eBAC, alcohol use-related problems, and negative affect. Follow-up normative beliefs, but not negative affect, mediated the relationship between condition and follow-up peak eBAC and alcohol use-related problems, such that those in the PFI and PNF conditions reported lower follow-up normative beliefs which was related to lower peak eBAC and fewer alcohol use-related problems. Baseline depression (but not negative affect, social anxiety, or anxiety) moderated the relation of condition to outcomes such that among individuals with higher depression the PFI condition was resulted in more follow-up alcohol use-related problems relative to the PNF condition. Results highlight the continued need for effective interventions that target both negative affect and risky alcohol use among undergraduates.



Committee Chair

Buckner, Julia D.

Available for download on Friday, July 19, 2030