Objective: This trial examined the efficacy of teacher-delivered personality-targeted interventions for alcohol-misuse over a 6-month period.
Method: This randomized controlled trial randomly allocated participating schools to intervention (n = 11) or control (n = 7) conditions. A total of 2,506 (mean age, 13.7 years) were assessed for elevated levels of personality risk factors for substance misuse: sensation-seeking, impulsivity, anxiety sensitivity, and hopelessness. Six hundred ninety-six adolescents were invited to participate in teacher-delivered personality-targeted interventions, and 463 were assigned to the nontreatment condition. Primary outcomes were drinking, binge-drinking status, quantity by frequency of alcohol use, and drinking-related problems.
Results: School delivery of the personality-targeted intervention program was associated with significantly lower drinking rates in high-risk students at 6-month follow-up (odds ratio, 0.6), indicating a 40% decreased risk of alcohol consumption in the intervention group. Receiving an intervention also predicted significantly lower binge-drinking rates in students who reported alcohol use at baseline (odds ratio, 0.45), indicating a 55% decreased risk of binge-drinking in this group compared with controls. In addition, high-risk intervention-school students reported lower quantity by frequency of alcohol use (beta = -.18) and drinking-related problems (beta = -.15) compared with the nontreatment group at follow-up.
Conclusion: This trial replicates previous studies reporting the efficacy of personality-targeted interventions and demonstrates that targeted interventions can be successfully delivered by teachers, suggesting potential for this approach as a sustainable school-based prevention model. Clinical trial registration information-Personality-Targeted Interventions for Adolescent Alcohol Misuse, URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov, unique identifier: NCT00344474.
2010 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.