Date of Graduation

7-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Community Health Promotion (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

J. Leah Henry

Committee Member

Ed Mink

Second Committee Member

Dean Gorman

Third Committee Member

Ron Warren

Keywords

Health and environmental sciences; Education; Alcohol intervention; College students; Mandated; Perspectives; Phenomenological study; Qualitative

Abstract

Alcohol abuse among college students continues to be a significant problem by which the consequences impact the student, their peers, and the university. Although quantitative research with volunteer participants supports the use of enhanced brief motivational interventions and cognitive behavioral skills training in reducing risky drinking behavior (binge drinking), research with mandated students has shown inconsistent findings. The current study is a phenomenological qualitative study exploring the students’ perspectives after attending a mandated college-level alcohol intervention program. Mandated students are students who have been referred to an alcohol intervention as a result of violating an alcohol related policy on campus. Protective behavioral strategies were used by the mandated students and perceived as helpful in reducing alcohol consumption and minimizing alcohol related consequences. Mandated students expressed more satisfaction with meeting face-to-face in the SPARK motivational intervention as compared to computer-based intervention programs. Factors that facilitate motivation to change are a relatively untapped field of exploration. There is a relationship between the satisfaction with the facilitator and satisfaction with the alcohol intervention. As a result, the SPARK participants reported reducing their risky drinking behavior. Mandated students should attend a face-to-face motivational intervention consisting of motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral skills in an effort to influence a motivation to change. Nine themes emerged from the data. The findings build on previous research by providing a more nuanced understanding of mandated students’ experience through a college-level alcohol intervention program called SPARK.

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