Cronce and Larimer, from the University of Washington, offer a review of the efficacy of individually-focused interventions to prevent risky drinking and associated negative consequences among college students.


Individual-focused approaches to the prevention of college student drinking


Alcohol consumption is prevalent among college students and can become problematic for some. Numerous randomized controlled trials have evaluated the efficacy of individual preventive interventions in reducing alcohol use and alcohol-related problems in college student populations. Consistent with earlier reviews, the balance of the evidence from studies conducted during the past 3 years strongly supports the efficacy of brief motivational interventions combined with personalized feedback interventions (PFIs) and personalized normative feedback (PNF), as well as of stand-alone PFI/PNF interventions. Recent analyses also continue to support the efficacy of alcohol expectancy challenge interventions, although the findings are less consistent. In addition, recent analyses offer mixed support for feedback-based interventions focused solely on blood alcohol concentration and for multicomponent,alcohol education-focused interventions that include elements of PFI/PNF. No evidence of efficacy was found for programs that only included alcohol education.


Cronce, J. M., & Larimer, M. E. (2011). Individual-focused approaches to the prevention of college student drinking. Alcohol research & health: the journal of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism34(2), 210.