Prevention Science

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 181–188 | Cite as

Text Messaging Interventions for Adolescent and Young Adult Substance Use: a Meta-Analysis

  • Michael MasonEmail author
  • Bolanle Ola
  • Nikola Zaharakis
  • Jing Zhang


Tobacco and alcohol use continues to be associated with negative health outcomes among adolescents and young adults. New technologies such as text messaging can increase access to substance use interventions and have now been established as an evidence-based, recommended approach towards substance use prevention. This review presents results from a meta-analysis examining the effectiveness of text message interventions for tobacco and alcohol cessation within adolescent and young adult populations. Results from 14 studies with effect sizes are ranging from −0.25 to 0.54. Combining the effect sizes across studies yielded a summary effect size of 0.25, indicating that in general, text interventions have a positive effect on reducing substance use behaviors. Results are discussed in the context of prevention opportunities and recommendations for future text messaging intervention research.


Text messaging Substance use Adolescents Young adults Meta-analysis 


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Mason
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Bolanle Ola
    • 1
  • Nikola Zaharakis
    • 1
  • Jing Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Virginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Commonwealth Institute for Child and Family StudiesVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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