Program

Mar 22, 2016

OVERVIEW

The Expectancy Challenge Alcohol Literacy Curriculum (ECALC) is a single-session intervention designed to modify alcohol expectancies and reduce alcohol use among children and young adults. The program is delivered in a single session. An experimental study of fraternity members at a state university found that the intervention demonstrated reductions in all areas of alcohol use measured at the 4-week follow-up, including blood alcohol content, number of days drinking per week, drinks per sitting, and number of binge-drinking episodes per month.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Young Adults

The Expectancy Challenge Alcohol Literacy Curriculum (ECALC) is a single session group-delivered program designed to modify alcohol expectancy processes and reduce alcohol use among children and young adults. ECALC is delivered in a 50-minute session and presents scientific information about pharmacological effects of alcohol in a nonjudgmental format.

EVALUATION OF PROGRAM

Fried, A.B. & Dunn, M.E. (2012). The Expectancy Challenge Alcohol Literacy Curriculum (ECALC): A Single Session Group Intervention to Reduce Alcohol Use. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 26(3), 615-20.

Evaluated population: A total of 250 fraternity members at a large state university were randomized into the treatment group (n=148) or the control group (n=102). The average age was 20 years, and the sample included students who were 79 percent white, 16 percent Hispanic, 1 percent Asian American, 1 percent African-American, and 3 percent other.

Approach: Participants were fraternity members at a large state university.  Four fraternity chapters met the inclusion criteria and were randomly assigned to receive either the ECALC or a control presentation. The measures used in this study were 1) daily alcohol consumption for the 4 weeks prior to receiving the intervention as well as the 4-week period afterwards using the self-report, timeline follow-back (TLFB), and 2) alcohol expectancies before and after the ELALC using the Comprehensive Effects of Alcohol Scale (CEOA). The intervention consisted of a 50-minute session. To begin, participants completed the TLFB and the CEOA. The presenter then summarized the experimental research that distinguishes between pharmacological effects of alcohol and expectancy effects of alcohol.  Participants were then shown four brief alcohol advertisements on video, and then asked to identify positive and arousing alcohol expectancies in each advertisement.  After this, they were led in a discussion of the contradictions between the arousing experiences shown in the advertisements and alcohol’s pharmacological effects. At the end of the presentation, participants completed the expectancy measure (CEOA) a second time.

The control group participants completed the same baseline measures (TLFB and CEOA). They then received a media presentation about interpreting advertisements which showed personal appearance products (such as hair removal products). This was followed by a second CEOA.

Four weeks following the initial presentation, a follow-up was completed in person with an 89% response rate.  This consisted of a demographic questionnaire and TLFB.

Results:

The study found statistically significant results for the treatment group compared to the control group. Those who received the ELALC intervention demonstrated reductions in all facets of alcohol use measured, including 1) decreased mean and peak blood alcohol content (BAC), 2) decreased mean number of days drinking per week, 3) decreased mean drinks per sitting, and 4) decreased number of binge-drinking episodes per month. In addition, for treatment group students, favorable impacts were found on five of seven sub-scales of the CEOA expectancy measure, using Bonferroni correction methods, and expectancies for sociability and sexual enhancement were found to mediate impacts on alcohol blood level at the 4-week follow up.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Fried, A.B. & Dunn, M.E. (2012). The Expectancy Challenge Alcohol Literacy Curriculum (ECALC): A Single Session Group Intervention to Reduce Alcohol Use. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 26(3), 615-20.

Contact Information

Michael E. Dunn

Department of Psychology

University of Central Florida

P.O. Box 161390

Orlando, FL 32816-1390

Email: Michael.dunn@ucf.edu

KEYWORDS: Young Adults (18-24), College, Male Only, White/Caucasian, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Community-based, Alcohol Use

Program information last updated on 3/22/16

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