“Brief Online Study Abroad Alcohol Intervention”
This study involves a randomized controlled trial that builds upon a successful pilot intervention study to address problematic and dangerous drinking among young adult college students studying abroad in foreign environments. Despite universities and colleges citing alcohol misuse as the most concerning issue for their students abroad, most institutions offer no empirically-based prevention efforts tailored to this at-risk population. The proposed intervention attempts to fill a major gap for the nearly 333,000 students completing study abroad programs each year by addressing empirically-based and theoretically-informed risk and protective factors of correcting misperceived peer drinking norms and promoting cultural engagement abroad. In addition to preventing heavy and problematic drinking, the intervention seeks to prevent risky behaviors and experience of sexual violence victimization, which are strikingly common among study abroad students and have the potential for lasting physical and psychological effects upon return home. The investigators will conduct a randomized controlled trial of a developed intervention with a sample of 1,200 college students studying abroad from 35 U.S. universities and colleges. The brief, online intervention is text and video based and contains evidence-based components of personalized normative feedback to correct students' misperceived drinking norms, content to promote engagement with the cultural experience abroad and addressed difficulties adjusting to life in the foreign environment, and tips and strategies to prevent risky sexual behaviors and sexual violence victimization abroad. Participants will complete online surveys at five time points (predeparture, first month abroad, last month abroad, one-month post-return, and three-months post-return) to assess for intervention effects on drinking, risky sex, and sexual violence outcomes. The investigators will examine whether the mechanisms targeted by the intervention (changes in perceived norms, engagement in the cultural experience abroad) serve as mediators of intervention efficacy.
Behavioral - PNF + SAF
Personalized normative feedback (PNF) to correct misperceived peer drinking norms abroad + sojourner adjustment feedback (SAF) to promote cultural engagement abroad.
Online Intervention to Prevent Risky Behaviors During College Student Study Abroad Experiences