Academic journal article Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy

Effects of Videotaped Expectancy Challenges on Alcohol Consumption of Adjudicated Students

Academic journal article Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy

Effects of Videotaped Expectancy Challenges on Alcohol Consumption of Adjudicated Students

Article excerpt

Research suggests that the manipulation of alcohol expectancies can produce short-term reduction of moderate to heavy alcohol consumption among college populations. The present study examined the utility of an expectancychallenge intervention administered in a videotaped format. Thirty-three residential male college students with a single alcohol offense attending a diversionary alcohol education program were randomly assigned to either the experimental treatment or an information-based comparison condition. Consistent with experimental construct validity considerations, the information treatment produced significant knowledge increments. However, neither condition had any impact on a battery of measures reflecting alcohol expectancies and alcohol consumption.

The college student population has been identified as at elevated risk for immediate and long-term alcohol-related problems (Berkowitz & Perkins, 1986; Engs & Hanson, 1988). According to most estimates, 10% - 25% of college students are considered "heavy" or problem drinkers (Baer, Stacy, & Larimer, 1991). The misuse of alcohol by college students leads to negative consequences in personal, legal, and social realms (Berkowitz & Perkins, 1986; Gliksman, 1988).

In response to reports of binge-drinking among college students (Wechsler & Isaac, 1992), increasing numbers of college campuses have developed alcohol awareness or primary prevention programs (Braucht & Braucht, 1984; Goodale, 1986). Most prevention programs for this population focus on providing information about the negative effects of alcohol abuse (Miller & Nirenberg, 1984). Although information-based programs can change alcohol-related knowledge and attitudes (Kraft, 1984; Mills & McCarty, 1983), the treatment literature has not found them effective in altering drinking practices (Baer, Kivlahan, Fromme, & Marlatt, 1991).

Recent research suggests that drinking expectancies are related to alcohol consumption patterns. Many such expectancies accumulate over one's lifetime (see Rather, Goldman, Roehrich, & Brannick, 1992); however, the specific subset of expectancies about the consequences of alcohol use are strong predictors of drinking behavior (Brown, 1985; Connors, O'Farrell, Cutter, & Thompson, 1986). For example, Rohsenow (1983) found that moderate and heavy drinkers anticipated greater social and sexual pleasure and less tension as a result of consuming alcohol than did light drinkers. The groups did not differ on expectations of negative consequences, however, which suggests that anticipated positive consequences of consumption are more salient indicators of alcohol use than are expected negative consequences. In other words, an individual who believes, for example, that "alcohol will make me a more interesting person" or that "after a few drinks I am more open and honest," is more likely to consume greater quantities of alcohol than one who does not hold such beliefs.

Darkes and Goldman (1993) demonstrated the causal nature of this relationship by modifying expectancies through an in vivo drinking experiment and noting subsequent reductions in drinking behavior even among underage observers. They accomplished this by manipulating tangible variables presumed to affect alcohol expectancies (e.g., behavioral cues of laughter and lowered social inhibitions). In vivo activities included social and sexual content (playing an interactive game and rating models by attractiveness) after consuming either alcohol or placebo beverages. Afterwards, participants were asked to differentiate which students were drinking alcohol or placebo beverages based on their behavior during the activities. Participants also received instruction on the development, maintenance, and operation of expectancies such as "alcohol will make me more attractive to strangers" or "after I've had a few drinks I'm more of a caring, sharing person." Finally, in order to sensitize them to ways in which expectancies are reinforced, participants were told to observe real-world cues (e. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.