Optimizing Timing and Dosage: Does Parent Type Moderate the Effects of Variations of a Parent-Based Intervention to Reduce College Student Drinking?
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- Varvil-Weld, L., Scaglione, N., Cleveland, M.J. et al. Prev Sci (2014) 15: 94. doi:10.1007/s11121-012-0356-4
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Research on parent-based interventions (PBIs) to reduce college student drinking has explored the optimal timing of delivery and dosage. The present study extended this work by examining the effectiveness of three different PBI conditions on student drinking outcomes as a function of parenting types and students’ pre-college drinking patterns. Four hypotheses were evaluated (early intervention, increased dosage, invariant, and treatment matching risk). A random sample of 1,900 college students and their parents was randomized to four conditions: (1) pre-college matriculation, (2) pre-college matriculation plus booster, (3) post-college matriculation, or (4) control, and was assessed at baseline (summer prior to college) and 5-month follow-up. Baseline parent type was assessed using latent profile analysis (positive, pro-alcohol, positive, anti-alcohol, negative mother, and negative father). Student drinking patterns were classified at baseline and follow-up and included: non-drinker, weekend light drinker, weekend heavy episodic drinker, and heavy drinker. Consistent with the treatment matching risk hypothesis, results indicated parent type moderated the effects of intervention condition such that receiving the intervention prior to college was associated with lower likelihood of being in a higher-risk drinking pattern at follow-up for students with positive, anti-alcohol, or negative father parent types. The findings are discussed with respect to optimal delivery and dosage of parent-based interventions for college student drinking.