Mandatory alcohol intervention for alcohol-abusing college students: a systematic review

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2005 Sep;29(2):147-58. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2005.05.007.


Most colleges and universities in the United States have programmatic responses for alcohol policy violators that commonly include some form of mandatory alcohol education or counseling. The purpose of this study was to conduct a review of intervention programs for college students who are required to attend alcohol education or counseling. MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and ERIC databases were searched for reports of college-based mandatory interventions offered on American campuses. When possible, within-group and between-group effect sizes were calculated. Sixteen reports were identified, including three randomized controlled trials. Most of the reviewed studies used qualitative or quasi-experimental designs, did not include comparison or control groups, had small or selective sample sizes, lacked behavioral measures of alcohol consumption, and/or had no follow-up, low follow-up rates, or short follow-up intervals. Recommendations for future research include testing different modes and types of interventions and sanctions, evaluating long-term efficacy, and establishing cost-effectiveness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / prevention & control*
  • Counseling*
  • Health Education*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Students
  • Universities