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    Efficacy of a non-drinking mental simulation intervention for reducing student alcohol consumption

    Conroy, Dominic and Sparks, P. and de Visser, R. (2015) Efficacy of a non-drinking mental simulation intervention for reducing student alcohol consumption. British Journal of Health Psychology 20 (4), pp. 688-707. ISSN 1359-107X.

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    - Objectives: To assess the impact of a mental simulation intervention designed to reduce student alcohol consumption by asking participants to imagine potential positive outcomes of and/or strategic processes involved in not drinking during social occasions. - Design: English university students aged 18–25 years (n = 211, Mage = 20 years) were randomly allocated to one of four intervention conditions. The dependent variables were weekly alcohol consumption, heavy episodic drinking (HED) frequency and frequency of social occasions at which participants did not drink alcohol when others were drinking alcohol (‘episodic non-drinking’). Measures of alcohol-related prototypes (i.e., prototypical non-drinker, prototypical regular drinker) were used to compute sociability prototype difference scores as a potential mediator of any intervention effects. All measures were taken at baseline and at 2- and 4-week follow-up. - Methods: Participants completed one of four exercises involving either imagining positive outcomes of non-drinking during a social occasion (outcome condition); imagining strategies required for non-drinking during a social occasion (process condition); imagining both positive outcomes and required strategies (combined condition); or completing a drinks diary task (control condition). - Results: Latent growth curve analyses revealed a more substantial rate of decrease in weekly unit consumption and HED frequency among outcome condition and process condition participants, relative to control condition participants. Non-significant differences were found between the combined condition and the control condition. Across the whole sample, an inverted U-shape trend indicated an initial increase in episodic non-drinking before it returned to baseline levels. - Conclusion: This study provides preliminary evidence that mental simulation interventions focused on non-drinking can successfully promote behaviour change.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): alcohol, student, mental simulation, non-drinking, prototypes
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2015 14:02
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:15


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