Document Type

Honors Paper


Ruth Grahn

Publication Date



The current study sought to compare the effectiveness of two brief information based interventions. The first exposed to participants information regarding accurate social norms college student alcohol consumption and a second which focused on information regarding the effects of alcohol on the brain and body. The effectiveness of the interventions was investigated by comparing initial scores on the Readiness to Change scale (RTC; Rollnick et al. 1992) to scores on the same scale after a two week follow up. It was hypothesized that the groups who received the intervention would both show significant increases in scores on the contemplative and action subscales of the RTC scale and decreases in pre-contemplative score in comparison to the control group. The results found that there was a significant reduction in scores on the pre-contemplative subscale of the RTC scale in the social norms group, but no other significant differences between baseline and follow up were found. Perceptions of student drinking habits were also compared to the drinking habits of the owners of those perceptions. Results found that the amount of drinks participants perceived the typical student to consume per week was significantly correlated with reports of the number of drinks which an individual reported themselves to be consuming and the number which they reported their best friend to be imbibing per week. Perceptions and habits were recorded using the Drinking Norms Rating form (DRNF; Baer at al. 1991) and the Daily Drinking Questionnaire (DDQ: Collins, Parks & Marlatt, 1985). Additionally significant differences in perceptions of the physiological effects of consuming alcohol were found according to self reported weekly drinking totals. Individuals who reported moderate-heavy levels (defined as 13-19 drinks in a typical week) of drinking were significantly less accurate in their perceptions of the physiological effects of alcohol than moderate drinkers (6-12 drinks in a typical week), according to a scale created by the researchers (BCBDS; Boudreau & Grahn, 2013).



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.