Brief motivational interventions for heavy college drinkers: A randomized controlled trial

Kate B. Carey, Michael P. Carey, Stephen A. Maisto, James M. Henson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

203 Scopus citations


In this randomized controlled trial, the authors evaluated brief motivational interventions (BMIs) for at-risk college drinkers. Heavy drinking students (N = 509; 65% women, 35% men) were randomized into 1 of 6 intervention conditions formed by crossing the baseline Timeline Followback (TLFB) interview (present versus absent) and intervention type (basic BMI, BMI enhanced with a decisional balance module, or none). Assessments completed at baseline, 1, 6, and 12 months measured typical and risky drinking as well as drinking-related problems. Relative to controls, the TLFB interview reduced consumption but not problems at 1 month. The basic BMI improved all drinking outcomes beyond the effects of the TLFB interview at 1 month, whereas the enhanced BMI did not. Risk reduction achieved by brief interventions maintained throughout the follow-up year.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)943-954
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Alcohol abuse prevention
  • Brief motivational intervention
  • College drinking
  • Decisional balance
  • Timeline assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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