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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2009 Feb;77(1):88-102. doi: 10.1037/a0014679.

Individual and situational factors that influence the efficacy of personalized feedback substance use interventions for mandated college students.

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Center of Alcohol Studies, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 607 Allison Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.


Little is known about individual and situational factors that moderate the efficacy of personalized feedback interventions (PFIs). Mandated college students (N = 348) were randomly assigned either to a PFI delivered in the context of a brief motivational interview (BMI; n = 180) or to a written PFI only (WF) condition and were followed up at 4 months and 15 months postintervention. The authors empirically identified heterogeneous subgroups utilizing mixture modeling analysis based on heavy episodic drinking and alcohol-related problems. The 4 identified groups were dichotomized into an improved group (53.4%) and a nonimproved group (46.6%). Logistic regression results indicated that the BMI was no more efficacious than the WF across all mandated students. However, mandated students who experienced a serious incident requiring medical or police attention and those with higher levels of alcohol-related problems at baseline benefited more from the BMI than from the WF. It may be an efficacious and cost-effective approach to provide a written PFI for low-risk mandated students and an enhanced PFI with a BMI for those students who experience a serious incident or have higher baseline alcohol-related problems.

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