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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Emily R. Grekin

Abstract

Alcohol misuse remains a significant issue on college campuses. One potential remedy, especially for those unwilling or unable to seek face-to-face intervention, are computer-delivered brief interventions. Although the literature is mixed regarding the magnitude of their effect on alcohol use, findings are consistent that they at least produce small changes in alcohol use. The current study tested a computer-delivered brief intervention (CDBI) against an education-only control in order to examine its efficacy in reducing alcohol use. Additionally, it tested the interactive effects of secondary psychopathic personality, a trait associated with higher rates of alcohol use. 100 heavy drinking college students were randomized to either the intervention or education-control condition. Overall, both groups showed reductions in readiness to change, intentions to reduce drinking, and alcohol use at one-month follow-up; there was no change in alcohol use consequences in either group. Secondary psychopathic personality was related to trend level reductions in alcohol use across conditions, and those with higher levels of secondary psychopathy had more alcohol use consequences at follow-up compared to the education-only condition. In total, both programs were generally effective at increasing motivation to change and reducing alcohol use. These findings suggest that (1) computerized programs aimed at reducing alcohol use can produce small but meaningful changes and (2) individuals with higher levels of secondary psychopathic personality traits can benefit from these programs.

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