Examination of posttraining supervision of peer counselors in a motivational enhancement intervention to reduce drinking in a sample of heavy-drinking college students

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2010 Oct;39(3):289-97. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2010.06.005. Epub 2010 Jul 29.


Importance of peer counselor posttraining supervision on motivational interviewing (MI) microskills and postintervention drinking outcomes were evaluated in a sample of heavy-drinking undergraduate students completing Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS; L.A. Dimeff, J.S. Baer, D.R. Kivlahan, & G.A. Marlatt, 1999). Two peer counselor groups were trained using identical protocols. Posttraining, one group was randomized to receive supervision, whereas the other received no supervision. Groups were subsequently compared on MI microskills. College students (n = 122) were randomly assigned to either assessment-only control, supervision, or no supervision groups and completed a BASICS intervention. Postintervention drinking outcomes were examined. Results suggested supervision aided peer counselors in reducing use of closed-ended questions. Both treatment groups reduced total drinks per week and heavy-drinking behaviors compared to control. No differences on peak blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or alcohol-related consequences were observed. Differences in supervision did not influence drinking outcomes; however, posttraining supervision for peer counselors deficient in MI microskills may be needed to improve BASICS fidelity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control*
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / prevention & control
  • Counseling / education*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Peer Group*
  • Students / psychology
  • Universities
  • Young Adult