Evaluation of a single-session expectancy challenge intervention to reduce alcohol use among college students

Psychol Addict Behav. 2008 Jun;22(2):168-75. doi: 10.1037/0893-164X.22.2.168.


In this study, the authors developed and evaluated a single-session experiential expectancy challenge (EC) intervention, seeking to reduce alcohol use by changing key positive expectancies among moderate to heavy drinking male and female college students. Participants (N=217) were randomly assigned to attend a 90- to 120-min EC session, CD-ROM alcohol education, or assessment only. Participants were assessed at pretest, posttest, and 1-month follow-up. Exposure to the EC intervention led to significant decreases in alcohol expectancies and subsequent alcohol consumption in both genders at follow-up. No significant changes were evident in either control condition. This study is the first to effectively decrease expectancies and drinking in college students with a single-session EC intervention. Further, although several studies have demonstrated the utility of the intervention with men, it is the first to do so with women. This study represents a critical step in the process of translating an innovative, theory-based intervention into a more practical format that makes it more accessible to those who seek effective drinking-reduction strategies for college campuses.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation*
  • Culture*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Psychotherapy, Brief / methods*
  • Set, Psychology
  • Social Behavior*