Efficacy of a brief image-based multiple-behavior intervention for college students

Ann Behav Med. 2008 Oct;36(2):149-57. doi: 10.1007/s12160-008-9055-6. Epub 2008 Sep 18.


Background: Epidemiologic data indicate most adolescents and adults experience multiple, simultaneous risk behaviors.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the efficacy of a brief image-based multiple-behavior intervention (MBI) for college students.

Methods: A total of 303 college students were randomly assigned to: (1) a brief MBI or (2) a standard care control, with a 3-month postintervention follow-up.

Results: Omnibus treatment by time multivariate analysis of variance interactions were significant for three of six behavior groupings, with improvements for college students receiving the brief MBI on alcohol consumption behaviors, F(6, 261) = 2.73, p = 0.01, marijuana-use behaviors, F(4, 278) = 3.18, p = 0.01, and health-related quality of life, F(5, 277) = 2.80, p = 0.02, but not cigarette use, exercise, and nutrition behaviors. Participants receiving the brief MBI also got more sleep, F(1, 281) = 9.49, p = 0.00, than those in the standard care control.

Conclusions: A brief image-based multiple-behavior intervention may be useful in influencing a number of critical health habits and health-related quality-of-life indicators of college students.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy
  • Male
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Physical Fitness / psychology
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Students / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Universities