The Influence of a Brief Alcohol Intervention on Alcohol Use Trajectories in Nonstudent Emerging Adult Drinkers

Cathy Lau-Barraco, Ashley N. Linden-Carmichael, Amy L. Stamates, Peter D. Preonas, Abby L. Braitman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: This study sought to inform research with noncollege-attending emerging adults, an at-risk, and understudied population, by identifying patterns of response following a brief alcohol intervention. This study was a reanalysis of data from a randomized controlled intervention trial testing a brief, personalized feedback alcohol intervention targeting nonstudent emerging adult drinkers. Objectives: The study aims were to (1) model intervention response by identifying subgroups characterized by changes in heavy drinking (i.e. peak use, number of binges during a typical week, proportion of binge days, peak estimated blood alcohol concentration [eBAC]) following the alcohol intervention, and (2) distinguish subgroups on factors related to intervention response (i.e. perceived norms regarding how much peers drink, alcohol use severity, mental health symptoms, and readiness to change). Methods: Participants were 81 (64.2% men) nonstudent heavy drinkers between ages 18–25 years (average age = 22.04) recruited from the community. Results: Findings revealed two latent subgroups that exhibited differential response to the intervention (i.e. intervention “responders” and “nonresponders”). Further, responders reported higher pre-intervention descriptive normative perceptions and alcohol use severity. Conclusions/Importance: The current investigation contributed to knowledge regarding for whom brief alcohol interventions work in the short term within nonstudent emerging adults and could inform future research to facilitate behavior change in those unresponsive to intervention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2025-2032
Number of pages8
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number12
StatePublished - Oct 15 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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