Two-year outcome of an intervention program for university students who have parents with alcohol problems: a randomized controlled trial

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2007 Nov;31(11):1927-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2007.00516.x. Epub 2007 Sep 26.


Background: Only a few intervention studies aiming to change high-risk drinking behavior have involved university students with heredity for alcohol problems. This study evaluated the effects after 2 years on drinking patterns and coping behavior of intervention programs for students with parents with alcohol problems.

Method: In total, 82 university students (57 women and 25 men, average age 25 years) with at least 1 parent with alcohol problems were included in the study. The students were randomly assigned to 1 of the 3 programs: (i) alcohol intervention program, (ii) coping intervention program, or (iii) combination program. All the 3 intervention programs were manual based and individually implemented during 2 2-hour sessions, 4 weeks apart. Before the participants were randomly assigned, all were subjected to an individual baseline assessment. This assessment contained both a face-to-face interview and 6 self-completion questionnaires: the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, estimated Blood Alcohol Concentration, Short Index of Problems, the Symptom Checklist-90, Coping with Parents' Abuse Questionnaire, and The Interview Schedule for Social Interaction (ISSI). Follow-up interviews were conducted after 1 and 2 years, respectively. The results after 1 year have previously been reported.

Results: All participants finished the baseline assessment, accepted and completed the intervention. Ninety-five percent of the students completed the 24-month follow-up assessment. Only the group receiving the combination program continued to improve their drinking pattern significantly (p < 0.05) from the 12-month follow-up to the 24-month follow-up. The improvements in this group were significantly better than in the other 2 groups. The group receiving only alcohol intervention remained at the level of improvement achieved at the 12-month follow-up. The improvements in coping behavior achieved at the 12-month follow-up remained at the 24-month follow-up for all the 3 groups, i.e., regardless of intervention program.

Conclusion: Positive effects of alcohol intervention between 1 and 2 years were found only in the combined intervention group, contrary to the 1-year results with effects of alcohol intervention with or without a combination with coping intervention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / therapy*
  • Behavior Therapy / methods
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Psychology
  • Student Health Services / methods*
  • Students
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Universities