Date of Award

Summer 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Jennifer Ann Morrow

Committee Member

Valerian Derlaga

Committee Member

James Alan Neff

Committee Member

Bryan E. Porter


College drinking is widespread, and binge drinkers can experience serious consequences. The present study examined the effectiveness of two interventions, expressive writing and behavioral monitoring, as well a combined condition, in reducing drinking and negative consequences associated with drinking. Gender differences and differences in readiness to change binge drinking were also assessed. Participants (N = 97) completed a pretest, eight weekly intervention activities, and a posttest during their first semester of college. An ANOVA tested the hypothesis that individuals higher in readiness to change binge drinking participated in more of the weekly intervention activities; this hypothesis was not supported. A series of multiple regressions examined the hypotheses that after controlling for negative consequences, readiness to change and gender would be related to typical drinking (average and heavy) at pretest and posttest. Negative consequences and being in precontemplation predicted pretest drinking, and being in precontemplation predicted posttest drinking. A series of mixed randomizedrepeated measures ANOVAs assessed whether typical drinking (average and heavy) and negative consequences changed from pretest to posttest based on intervention group, gender, and readiness to change binge drinking. While the main hypotheses were not supported, results revealed that drinking remained the same from pretest to posttest; males reported more drinking than females; individuals in precontemplation tended to report the most drinking and negative consequences; and overall, negative consequences from drinking increased from pretest to posttest. A hierarchical linear model (ef) was tested using pretest readiness to change, gender, and intervention condition to predict drinking over the eight-week intervention. Males and precontemplators reported the most initial drinking. Over time, participants in the expressive writing condition tended to increase their drinking over the course of the semester, while males in the monitoring condition tended to decrease their drinking. The present study contributes a greater understanding of readiness to change binge drinking and an assessment of the interventions' ability to reduce drinking and negative consequences among first-year students. The findings will help researchers identify individuals interested in reducing their binge drinking and will be of interest to college personnel who desire to address college drinking early in students' college experience