Skills training, alcohol focus: Expectancy challenge intervention (ECI)—By proxy/didactic/discussion alone
ECIs target positive beliefs about the outcomes of alcohol use, highlighting through education or direct experience how many behaviors associated with alcohol use are driven by cognitions rather than pharmacology. Education on alcohol placebo effects is provided during in-person discussion or lecture or via video as a means of challenging students’ positive beliefs about the outcomes of alcohol use.
Effectiveness: X = Not effective
Cost: $ = Lower
Barriers: # = Lower
Research Amount: ** = 4 to 6 studies
Public Health Reach: Focused
Primary Modality: In-person group
Staffing Expertise Needed: Coordinator
Target Population: Individuals, underage, specific groups, or all students
Duration of Effects: No short-term (< 6 months) effects; long-term (? 6 months) effects not assessed
Although this approach is a component of larger, effective programs such as BASICS and ASTP, it is rated here as a stand-alone intervention.
Effectiveness ratings are based on the percentage of studies reporting any positive outcomes. Strategies with three or fewer studies did not receive an effectiveness rating due to the limited data on which to base a conclusion. Cost ratings are based on the relative program and staff costs for adoption, implementation, and maintenance of a strategy. Actual costs will vary by institution, depending on size, existing programs, and other campus and community factors. Barriers to implementing a strategy include cost and opposition, among other factors. Public health reach refers to the number of students that a strategy affects. Strategies with a broad reach affect all students or a large group of students (e.g., all underage students); strategies with a focused reach affect individuals or small groups of students (e.g., sanctioned students). Research amount/quality refers to the number of randomized controlled trials (RCT) that evaluated the strategy. Duration of effects refers to the timeframe within which the intervention demonstrated effects on alcohol-related behavioral outcomes; follow-up periods for short-term effects were <6 months; follow-up periods for long-term effects were ≥6 months.
Larimer, M.E.; and Cronce, J.M. Identification, prevention and treatment: A review of individual-focused strategies to reduce problematic alcohol consumption by college students. Journal of Studies on Alcohol (Suppl. 14):148–63, 2002.
- Jones, L.M.; Silvia, L.Y.; and Richman, C.L. Increased awareness and self-challenge of alcohol expectancies. Substance Abuse 16(2):77–85, 1995
Larimer, M.E.; and Cronce, J.M. Identification, prevention, and treatment revisited: Individual-focused college drinking prevention strategies 1999–2006. Addictive Behaviors 32:2439–68, 2007.
- Corbin, W.R.; McNair, L.D.; and Carter, J.A. Evaluation of a treatment-appropriate cognitive intervention for challenging alcohol outcome expectancies. Addictive Behaviors 26(4):475−88, 2001.
- Hunt, W.M. Effects of participant engagement on alcohol expectancies and drinking outcomes for a computerized expectancy challenge intervention. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Tampa, FL: University of Southern Florida, 2004.
- Keillor, R.M.; Perkins, W.B.; and Horan, J.J. Effects of videotaped expectancy challenges on alcohol consumption of adjudicated students. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy 13(3):179−87, 1999.
Additional studies not identified in prior reviews
- Fried, A.B.; and Dunn, M.E. The expectancy challenge alcohol literacy curriculum (ECALC): A single session group intervention to reduce alcohol use. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 26(3):615–20, 2012.
- Moore, M.; Soderquist, J.; and Werch, C. Feasibility and efficacy of a binge drinking prevention intervention for college students delivered via the internet versus postal mail. Journal of American College Health 54(1):38–44, 2005.
References from 2019 update
No studies identified.
Resources are only identified for programs with sufficient research support for CollegeAIM to rate as effective at any level (higher, moderate, or lower).