Individual-focused approaches to the prevention of college student drinking

Alcohol Res Health. 2011;34(2):210-21.


Alcohol consumption is prevalent among college students and can become problematic for some. Numerous randomized controlled trials have evaluated the efficacy of individual preventive interventions in reducing alcohol use and alcohol-related problems in college student populations. Consistent with earlier reviews, the balance of the evidence from studies conducted during the past 3 years strongly supports the efficacy of brief motivational interventions combined with personalized feedback interventions (PFIs) and personalized normative feedback (PNF), as well as of stand-alone PFI/PNF interventions. Recent analyses also continue to support the efficacy of alcohol expectancy challenge interventions, although the findings are less consistent. In addition, recent analyses offer mixed support for feedback-based interventions focused solely on blood alcohol concentration and for multicomponent, alcohol education-focused interventions that include elements of PFI/PNF. No evidence of efficacy was found for programs that only included alcohol education.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Feedback, Psychological*
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Humans
  • Motivation*
  • Students* / psychology
  • Universities*