Evaluating a brief alcohol intervention with fraternities

J Stud Alcohol. 2001 May;62(3):370-80. doi: 10.15288/jsa.2001.62.370.


Objective: The current study tested the efficacy of a brief intervention designed to reduce drinking and drinking-related consequences among first-year fraternity members.

Method: Twelve fraternities were randomly assigned to receive either a motivational enhancement intervention with individual and housewide feedback components (n = 6 houses) or a treatment-as-usual control condition (n = 6 houses). Individual feedback was delivered either by peer interviewers or professional research staff. Participants were assessed during their pledge (first) year of house membership and during a follow-up period 1 year later.

Results: Of the participants who completed follow-up (N = 120), fraternity members who received the brief intervention reported significant reductions in alcohol use (total average consumption) and typical peak blood alcohol concentrations when compared with fraternity members in the control condition. No differences in drinking-related consequences were observed. Fraternity members who received their individualized feedback from peer interviewers and professional members of the research staff reported similar outcomes.

Conclusions: Results provide support for the efficacy of a brief motivational enhancement intervention in reducing drinking within this high-risk population. The cost-effective use of peer interviewers appears to be a promising strategy for delivering individualized prevention programming in college populations.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Alcohol Drinking / therapy
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic / methods*
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Peer Group*
  • Students / psychology
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Treatment Outcome