Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Symposium #292
Assessing High-Risk Drinking Among College Students Across Environmental Settings
Monday, May 30, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Boulevard B (2nd floor)
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kent E. Glindemann (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University)
Abstract: Four data-based presentations on college alcohol use and abuse will be presented. The first paper presents data assessing the prevalence of drinking and driving following Division I NCAA football games. Implications for intervention efforts to reduce levels of driving under the influence (DUI) after these types of sporting events will be discussed. The second presentation reports on intervention efforts to reduce at-risk drinking by college students in a community setting. Results indicated that incentive/reward interventions show some promise as a tool to reduce alcohol consumption in a large-scale setting. A focus of this paper is on the development of the methodology necessary to conduct this research in community field settings. The third paper presents research assessing the effects of various themed fraternity parties on students’ levels of intoxication, and discusses implications for prevention interventions with these high-risk groups. The final paper presents data indicating that differential reinforcement, using an incentive/reward intervention, can effectively reduce alcohol consumption in a high-risk setting (e.g., at fraternity parties), and assessed the effects of multiple exposures to this intervention. The chairperson will then comment on the presentations, and discuss implications for future research efforts in this realm.
Drinking and Driving Following NCAA Collegiate Football Games
STEVEN W. CLARKE (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University), Kent E. Glindemann (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University), Christi Blake (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University), Christopher Downing (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University)
Abstract: This field study was designed to study intoxication levels of drivers following collegiate football games. Participants included 144 individuals (86 men and 58 women) attending tailgate parties at one of four NCAA Division 1-A college football games at a large university in the southeastern United States. Research assistants approached drivers as they entered one of three randomly selected parking lots. The drivers were recruited to participate before the game, and agreed to self-administer a Breathscan ® tester after the game, just before they left the parking lot. Drivers returned the breathalyzers to research assistants at the exits of the parking lot in exchange for a raffle entry form to win $250. A positive breath test indicated that the driver was at or above a BAC of .05 (accuracy = ±.005). Eighty-seven percent of drivers agreed to participate, and 52.5% returned a breath tester. Results indicated that 36.4% of drivers tested positive, and were thus at risk for DUI. The range was from 16.6% to 44.6%, and men were more likely to test positive than women. The implications of these findings for future studies of alcohol consumption at tailgate parties, and the development of interventions to prevent DUI will be discussed.
Development of a Methodology to Track Participants’ Alcohol Consumption in a Community Setting
ASHLEY RAINIS (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University), David Michael Harris (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University), Steven W. Clarke (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University), E. Scott Geller (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University)
Abstract: The current study developed and assessed a methodology for tracking college students’ Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels in the downtown area of a large college town. A within-subjects design examined the drinking behaviors of participants across five consecutive Thursday nights. Participants were recruited to join a longitudinal study during the first week of the study from 12:00 AM until 2:30 AM. An incentive of entry into a raffle for $250 was offered. Participants were asked to predict their level of intoxication, complete a brief survey on their drinking behaviors, and were then administered a BAC test using handheld breathalyzers. The following day participants completed an online survey assessing negative outcomes resulting from their alcohol consumption. Participants were asked to visit a BAC assessment tent set up downtown for the following four consecutive Thursday nights between 11:00 PM and 2:30 AM to receive a BAC assessment and complete the survey. Research findings indicate this is a viable methodology for recruiting and tracking participants who consume alcohol in community settings. This methodology will now be employed to test a community-wide intervention for ameliorating peak BAC levels with this population. Results, including BAC levels and subsequent negative outcomes, will be presented and discussed.
Assessing the Effects of Themed Fraternity Parties on Students’ Levels of Intoxication
SARA E. VALENTINO (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University), Elizabeth Mackey (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University), Demetrius Ball (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University), Douglas Wiegand (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University)
Abstract: The goal of this field study was to evaluate the relation between various party themes and subsequent alcohol intoxication at fraternity parties. BAC data was collected at 24 fraternity parties with eight different fraternities. Party themes were categorized as: a) None, b) Costume Party (e.g., boss-secretary, pirates-mermaids, toga, Tahiti, Beach, Graffiti), c) Alcohol-Related (e.g., 40 oz’ers, Ice-Luge), and d) Hazing (new members were humiliated). Each fraternity had at least one party without a theme and one party with a theme. Individuals who attended both parties were then selected for analysis. Themes were determined by two independent observers (r = 1.0). Individual participation in the party theme was also recorded. Overall, parties with a greater amount of alcohol present and parties closed to Greek members only had the highest mean BACs. While there was little difference in BACs across themes, a number of significant findings emerged. Specifically, party goers were significantly more intoxicated at: a) parties involving hazing of new members, and b) parties with a Alcohol-Related theme. In addition, alcohol consumption was significantly higher at two of three “toga” parties. The implications of these findings for alcohol risk management and the implementation of interventions to reduce intoxication will be discussed.
The Effects of Multiple Exposures to an Intervention Aimed at Reducing Fraternity Party Alcohol Use
IAN J. EHRHART (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University), Morgan Padgett (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University), Stacey Pavlak (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University), Paul Blalock (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University)
Abstract: College student alcohol use continues to be a concern on this nation’s campuses, contributing to a variety of negative consequences ranging from physical harm to reduced academic success, and impaired decision-making to driving under the influence (DUI). This study investigated the ability of an incentive/reward intervention to reduce alcohol use at university fraternity parties. Four fraternities were recruited and placed into either a standard A-B-A design (two fraternities, three parties each) or an extended A-B-B-B-A design (two fraternities, five parties each), the latter being implemented to study the effects of multiple exposures to the above intervention. At baseline parties, all participants completing a brief questionnaire and having their Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) assessed with a handheld breathalyzer were entered into a raffle for $100 to be drawn before the research team left the party. At intervention parties, a contingency was implemented in which only those participants whose BAC was below .050 were entered into the raffle. Independent variables included Gender, Fraternity Party, and Greek-Life Status, with the primary dependent variable being assessed BAC level. Results will be discussed with an emphasis on directions for further research using this unique intervention.



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