Alcohol interventions for mandated students: behavioral outcomes from a randomized controlled pilot study

J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2015 Jan;76(1):31-7.


Objective: This study investigated the effectiveness of three single-session interventions with high-risk mandated students while considering the influence of motivational interviewing (MI) microskills.

Method: This randomized, controlled pilot trial evaluated single-session interventions: Alcohol Skills Training Program (ASTP), Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) feedback sessions, and treatment-as-usual Alcohol Diversion Program (ADP) educational groups. Participants were 61 full-time undergraduates at a southern U.S. campus sanctioned to a clinical program following violation of an on-campus alcohol policy (Mage = 19.16 years; 42.6% female).

Results: RESULTS revealed a significant effect of time for reductions in estimated blood alcohol concentration (eBAC) and number of weekly drinks but not in alcohol-related consequences. Although ASTP and BASICS participants reported significant decreases in eBAC over time, ADP participant levels did not change (with no intervention effects on quantity or consequences). MI microskills were not related to outcomes.

Conclusions: RESULTS from this study suggest equivalent behavioral impacts for the MI-based interventions, although individual differences in outcome trajectories suggest that research is needed to further customize mandated interventions. Given the overall decrease in eBAC following the sanction, the lack of reduction in the ADP condition warrants caution when using education-only interventions.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control*
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Ethanol / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivational Interviewing / methods*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Ethanol