Enrollment and assessment of a first-year college class social network for a controlled trial of the indirect effect of a brief motivational intervention
Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Health Psychology | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Sociology
Heavy drinking and its consequences among college students represent a serious public health problem, and peer social networks are a robust predictor of drinking-related risk behaviors. In a recent trial, we administered a Brief Motivational Intervention (BMI) to a small number of first-year college students to assess the indirect effects of the intervention on peers not receiving the intervention.
OBJECTIVES: To present the research design, describe the methods used to successfully enroll a high proportion of a first-year college class network, and document participant characteristics.
METHODS: Prior to study enrollment, we consulted with a student advisory group and campus stakeholders to aid in the development of study-related procedures. Enrollment and baseline procedures were completed in the first six weeks of the academic semester. Surveys assessed demographics, alcohol use, and social network ties. Individuals were assigned to a BMI or control group according to their dormitory location.
RESULTS: The majority of incoming first-year students (1342/1660; 81%) were enrolled (55% female, 52% nonwhite, mean age 18.6 [SD=0.51]). Differences between the intervention and control group were noted in alcohol use, but were in large part a function of there being more substance-free dormitory floors in the control group.
CONCLUSIONS: The current study was successful in enrolling a large proportion of a first-year college class and can serve as a template for social network investigations.
Alcohol, College, Implementation, Intervention, Social network, Study design
DOI of Published Version
Contemp Clin Trials. 2019 Jan;76:16-23. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2018.10.015. Epub 2018 Nov 1. Link to article on publisher's site
Contemporary clinical trials
Barnett NP, Clark MA, Kenney SR, DiGuiseppi G, Meisel MK, Balestrieri S, Ott MQ, Light J. (2019). Enrollment and assessment of a first-year college class social network for a controlled trial of the indirect effect of a brief motivational intervention. Population and Quantitative Health Sciences Publications. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cct.2018.10.015. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/qhs_pp/1233