The Influence of Message Framing on Binge Drinking and Protective Drinking Strategies: A Randomized Controlled Trial of an Online Video Intervention
AuthorCarlson, Gwendolyn Clair
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The development of effective population-based brief alcohol interventions among college students has been a significant challenge. Message framing has received attention as a potential brief alcohol intervention for a college population. The primary aim of the current study was to examine the effectiveness of a loss framed video (i.e., emphasizing the negative consequences of binge drinking), a gain framed video (i.e., emphasizing the benefits of moderate drinking), and a combined video (i.e., emphasizing the negative consequences of binge drinking and the benefits of moderate drinking) at reducing binge drinking and alcohol-related harms and increasing protective drinking strategies among college students. Participants assigned to the combined video condition reported significantly less binge drinking intention at follow-up than participants assigned to the gain framed video message condition and participants assigned to the control condition. Among participants who reported high rates of high school binge drinking, participants assigned to the combined video message condition reported fewer alcohol-related harms at follow-up than participants assigned to the control condition. A secondary aim of the current study was to evaluate the unique and additive effects of outcome expectancies on binge drinking, protective drinking strategies, and alcohol-related harms, after controlling for the effects of sociodemographic variables and binge drinking risk variables. Findings revealed that the full models accounted for 25% of the variance in binge drinking, 16% of the variance in protective drinking strategies, and 35% of the variance in alcohol-related harms, with outcome expectancies making significant contributions to the variance across all models. Findings establish the efficacy of a video message emphasizing the consequences of binge drinking and the benefits of moderate drinking at influencing binge drinking intention among college students and support the independent contribution of outcome expectancies on drinking behavior and alcohol-related harms among a college student sample.