Online personalized normative feedback intervention to reduce event-specific drinking during Mardi Gras

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High-risk drinking events (e.g., Mardi Gras) are associated with heavy and problematic drinking behaviors in college students. Online personalized normative feedback (PNF) interventions have been found to reduce college drinking, yet few studies have investigated the effect of event-specific PNF on drinking. The present study investigated the impact of a Mardi Gras-specific PNF intervention on Mardi Gras drinking and normative beliefs. Undergraduate students who reported intending to drink during Mardi Gras were randomly assigned to receive PNF (n = 74) or nondrinking control feedback (n = 73), both delivered online. Compared to those in the control condition, those in the PNF condition reported lower normative beliefs at follow-up. Follow-up beliefs mediated the relation between condition and peak estimated blood alcohol content (eBAC) during Mardi Gras such that the PNF condition was related to lower follow-up maximum estimated eBAC via lower follow-up normative beliefs. Baseline drinking moderated treatment effects such that the PNF was related to lower follow-up eBAC among heavier but not lighter baseline drinkers. This is the first known study to find that an event-specific stand-alone PNF intervention administered online in anticipation of a university-wide holiday associated with drinking can result in decreased event-specific drinking via changes in event-specific normative beliefs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

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Experimental and clinical psychopharmacology

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