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Traffic Inj Prev. 2005 Dec;6(4):323-30.

The effect of a campus-community environmental alcohol prevention initiative on student drinking and driving: results from the "a matter of degree" program evaluation.

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Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.



Motor vehicle crashes involving alcohol are a major contributor to morbidity and mortality among college students in the United States. This study evaluates the effect on drinking and driving outcomes of the "A Matter of Degree" program, a campus-community coalition initiative to reduce college binge drinking.


We used a quasi-experimental longitudinal study design that compared student responses at 10 colleges participating in the program and students attending 32 similar colleges that did not participate in the program. We also divided the program sites into two groups of five according to their level of program implementation and compared each with the non-program colleges. We examined driving after any alcohol consumption and driving after five or more drinks among drinkers who drove one or more times a week per month and riding with a high or drunk driver among all students at these colleges beginning in 1997 through 2001. Outcomes were based on data collected from repeated cross-sectional surveys using the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study. Analyses were conducted using MLwiN multilevel statistical software.


We found significant reductions in driving after drinking, driving after five or more drinks and riding with a high or drunk driver at the program colleges relative to the comparison colleges. Further analyses indicated that these reductions among the AMOD program colleges occurred at the sites with high program implementation relative to comparison sites, while no statistically significant change was noted at the program sites with low implementation. The program effect on the two drinking and driving outcomes appeared to be mediated by frequent binge drinking, while significant decline in the riding with an intoxicated driver outcome was not mediated by the individual's drinking.


Campus-community based environmental alcohol prevention is a promising approach for reducing alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes among this population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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