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J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2015 Jul;76(4):602-6.

Readiness to Change and to Accept Help and Drinking Outcomes in Young Adults of Mexican Origin.

Author information

Public Health Institute, Alcohol Research Group, Emeryville, California.
Texas Tech University Health Science Center, El Paso, Texas.
Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.
Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.
Alliance of Border Collaboratives, El Paso, Texas.



The purpose of this study was to assess whether readiness to change drinking (RCD) and readiness to accept help (RAH) improve short- and longer term drinking outcomes.


Data from a randomized controlled trial of screening and brief intervention (SBI) conducted in a U.S. emergency department at the U.S.-Mexico border are reported. A total of 620 at-risk and dependent Mexican-origin drinkers (56% male), ages 18-30, received either an assessment only or intervention (SBI). Drinking outcomes included drinking days per week, average and maximum drinks per drinking day, heavy drinking (5+ drinks) days per week, and negative consequences. Random effects longitudinal models predicted baseline, 3-month, and 12-month drinking outcomes from baseline RCD and RAH. Models tested if (a) outcomes were significantly reduced at follow-ups and (b) differential reduction occurred by RCD, RAH, and post-intervention changes in readiness among those receiving SBI.


For both study groups, outcomes improved from baseline to each follow-up across RCD and RAH status. RCD was not associated with differential improvement in outcomes for either group. In the SBI group, those RAH reported larger reductions at 3 months in average and maximum quantity than those not RAH but did not differ from those not RAH at 12-month outcomes. Among the SBI group, changing from not ready to ready (RTC or RAH) post-intervention was not associated with greater reductions in drinking compared with remaining not ready or ready post-intervention.


Baseline RCD is not associated with drinking outcomes. Baseline RAH may facilitate greater reductions in drinking for those receiving SBI and should be further examined as a possible mediator of SBI effects for young adults of Mexican origin.

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