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ERIC Number: ED531718
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 37
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 36
Evaluation of an Online Alcohol Education Program for First-Time-in-College Students
Reiss, Elayne
Association for Institutional Research (NJ1), Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (51st, Toronto, Ontario, May 21-25, 2011)
This study was guided by a research question regarding the efficacy of the AlcoholEdu program in increasing the use of protective behaviors among incoming college freshman of different drinking risk groups. Specifically, the researcher sought to determine which drinker risk groups, if any, showed the greatest degree of willingness to change alcohol use habits in the areas of (a) consumption, (b) use of protective behavioral strategies, and (c) negative consequences, when gender, ethnicity, age of first alcohol consumption, and family history of alcoholism served as contributing variables. The present study, in exploring one of the latest evolutions of the alcohol prevention process, illustrated a variety of findings that were not only significant from a statistical perspective, but also meaningful from the view of either confirming the results of prior research or presenting an unexpected possibility. The descriptive analysis addressing movement between drinker categories supported the literature in that, despite underage status of freshmen students, the majority of these students consumed alcoholic beverages to some extent prior to entering the college environment. Interesting results also occurred among those identified in the pre-test as heavy episodic drinkers. When the results were separated by gender, statements in the literature (Barnett et al., 2006) suggesting that heavy-drinking men were less likely to have the desire to change their habits as compared to women were confirmed. Examining consumption rates by the numbers, the findings of the present study supported the findings of Wall (2007) and Lovecchio et al. (2010) that AlcoholEdu may play an important role in reducing alcohol consumption. One of the most unexpected results of the analysis involved the incurrence of negative consequences. Despite the literature stating the magnitude of negative consequences faced by college drinkers, particularly those in the heavy episodic group (Busteed, 2008; Schaus et al., 2009; White & Swartzwelder, 2009), most students in the present study did not claim to have incurred these effects of drinking. As the results indicated, the issue of underage alcohol use among college students was just as prevalent as historical evidence has indicated. Postsecondary institutions have an opportunity to guide students to act responsibly with respect to alcohol. Though no single solution will solve associated issues, the right blend of approaches can transform an entire university's culture and way of thinking among its members. The evidence provided by this study supports the continuance of including AlcoholEdu as one of the first steps to which students are exposed in building a culture of responsible alcohol use. (Contains 3 figures and 3 tables.) [For a related report, "Evaluation of an Online Alcohol Education Program for First-Time-in-College Students," see ED519084.]
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Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association for Institutional Research
Identifiers - Location: Florida