This study evaluated methods of enhancing college students' retention of information provided to them in a computer-delivered personalized drinking feedback intervention and whether enhanced retention reduced alcohol consumption during the two-week period following the intervention. Participants were 98 college students who reported at least one heavy drinking episode in the past two weeks. After participating in an online, personalized drinking feedback intervention, students were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions: 1) typical, in which they were simply sent home, 2) reading, in which they were asked to spend the next 20 minutes re-reading the feedback, and 3) recall, in which they were asked to spend the next 20 minutes writing down as much of the information from the feedback as they could remember. Two weeks following the intervention, participants completed a recall test and provided information on their alcohol use during the previous two weeks. Results indicated that participants in the reading and recall conditions retained more of the feedback information than did participants in the typical condition. In addition, participants in the reading and recall conditions reported reduced alcohol consumption in the two-week period following the intervention, compared to those in the typical condition. Information retention partially mediated the effects of the reading and recall conditions on drinking outcomes.
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