The comparative effectiveness of individual and group brief motivational interventions for mandated college students

John T.P. Hustad, Nadine R. Mastroleo, Lan Kong, Rachel Urwin, Suzanne Zeman, Linda Lasalle, Brian Borsari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Individual brief motivational intervention (iBMI) is an efficacious strategy to reduce heavy drinking by students who are mandated to receive an alcohol intervention following an alcohol-related event. However, despite the strong empirical support for iBMI, it is unknown if the results from rigorously controlled research on iBMI translate to real-world settings. Furthermore, many colleges lack the resources to provide iBMI to mandated students. Therefore, group-delivered BMI (gBMI) might be a cost-effective alternative that can be delivered to a large number of individuals. The purpose of this study was to conduct a comparative effectiveness evaluation of iBMI and gBMI as delivered by staff at a university health services center. Participants (N = 278) were college students who were mandated to receive an alcohol intervention following an alcohol-related incident. Participants were randomized to receive an individual (iBMI; n = 133) or a Group BMI (gBMI; n = 145). Results indicated that both iBMI and gBMI participants reduced their peak estimated blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and the number of negative alcohol-related consequences at 1-, 3-, and 6-months postintervention. The iBMI and gBMI conditions were not significantly different at follow-up. These findings provide preliminary support for the use of iBMI and gBMIs for college students in real-world settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-84
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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