Program

Feb 27, 2013

OVERVIEW

The Alcohol Skills Training Program provides information to young adults about alcohol use and addiction, and teaches skills for avoiding, resisting, and setting limits on alcohol use. An experimental evaluation found that the program had positive impacts on several measures of self-reported alcohol use over, but it did not impact maximum drinks per occasion. Another evaluation comparing the program to individualized feedback and information did not find any significant differences between the two programs, although both resulted in a decrease in drinking over time.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Young adults at risk for alcohol problems

Alcohol Skills Training Program aims to reduce drinking among young adults by helping them develop self control, responsible decision making, and coping skills. The program is based on social learning theory. The intervention is led by a one male and one female instructor. One of the instructors is a psychologist, and the other is a clinical graduate student. The program consists of eight 90-minute weekly sessions. The themes of the sessions are as follows:

  1. Addiction and effects of drinking
  2. Blood alcohol level, drinking moderation skills, and setting limits
  3. Relaxation training and other self-rewarding behaviors
  4. Nutrition information and exercise
  5. Recognition and response to overdrinking
  6. Assertiveness training and refusal skills
  7. Placebo drinking session
  8. Relapse prevention strategies

As of 2013 the program package could be purchased for $210.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Kivlahan, D.R., Marlatt, G.A., Fromme, K., Coppel, D.B., and Williams, E. (1990). Secondary prevention with college drinkers: Evaluation of an alcohol skills training program. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 58(6), 805-810. 

Evaluated population: Forty-three young adults recruited from the University of Washington  were evaluated. All participants had to be at risk for alcohol problems, determined by having experienced negative consequences of drinking and volume of alcohol consumption. Individuals could only participate if they had no more than mild physical dependence on alcohol. The average age of participants was 23.1 years, and the age range was 18 to 35 years. The majority of the population was white (91 percent), and 58 percent were men.

Approach: Participants were randomly assigned to receive the Alcohol Skills Training Program, to an alcohol information class (AI), or to an assessment only control group (AO). The AI condition involved eight 90-minute weekly sessions and was based on a Washington state program for first time DWI offenders. Data were collected in person at pre-test and post-test and by mail at 4-month, 8-month, and 12-month follow-ups. Participants also completed daily alcohol consumption monitoring for the duration of the intervention. The outcomes assessed were drinks per week, drinks per month, self-rated change in drinking, driving after drinking, and maximum drinks per occasion. There were not significant differences between the groups at baseline.

Results: Participants in the Alcohol Skills Training Program group reported a larger reduction in self-rated drinking and reported drinking fewer drinks per week over time than those assigned to the assessment only group. However, when looking at drinks per week from daily self-monitoring, there was no difference between groups. Participants in the alcohol information class were more likely to report driving after drinking over time, compared with both the Alcohol Skills Training group and the assessment only group. There was no impact on maximum drinks per occasion.

Baer, J.S., Marlatt, A., Kivlahan, D.R., Fromme, K., Larimer, M.E., and Williams, E. (1992). An experimental test of three methods of alcohol risk reduction with young adults. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 60(6), 974-979.

Evaluated population: A total of 134 college students between 17 and 40 years old were evaluated. The sample was 52 percent female, and the average age was 21.2 years. The sample was 91 percent white, 5 percent Asian, and less than one percent Black, Latin American, and Native American

Approach: Participants were separated by sex and randomly assigned. The first two cohorts were randomly assigned to a 6-week version of the Alcohol Skills Training Program, a self-help manual, or individualized feedback and advice. In the third cohort the self-help condition was eliminated. The analysis does not include participants in the self-help condition. The individualized feedback and advice condition involved a one-hour motivational interview that emphasized the main points of the Alcohol Skills Training Program, but it varied advice based on the individual. Data were collected on drinks per month, alcohol consumption per week, and peak blood alcohol level per week at baseline, 3-month follow-up, 6-month follow-up, 12-month follow-up, and 24-month follow-up. Out of the 134 participants, 107 completed assessments at the end of treatment (partly due to the elimination of the self-help condition), 100 completed the 2-year follow-up, and 75 provided complete data at all follow up interviews.

Results: Although drinking decreased over time, there were no differences between groups.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Link to program curriculum: http://www.socio.com/ysa02.php

References:
Baer, J.S., Marlatt, A., Kivlahan, D.R., Fromme, K., Larimer, M.E., and Williams, E. (1992). An experimental test of three methods of alcohol risk reduction with young adults. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 60(6), 974-979.

Kivlahan, D.R., Marlatt, G.A., Fromme, K., Coppel, D.B., and Williams, E. (1990). Secondary prevention with college drinkers: Evaluation of an alcohol skills training program. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 58(6), 805-810.

KEYWORDS: Manual, Cost, Males and Females (Co-ed), Youth, Young Adults, White/Caucasian, Clinic-based, Alcohol Use, Other Safety

Program information last updated 2/27/13.