Category: Addictive Behaviors
Despite attempts to reduce hazardous alcohol use, students continue to engage in risky drinking and experience problems (SAMSHA, 2014). Higher resilience has been associated with fewer alcohol-related problems. Building on this finding, a brief (50 minute) resilience intervention (RECAP) was developed using resilience factors to both prevent and rebound from alcohol-related problems. Participants lived in on-campus housing, were recruited during mandatory wellness programming and randomly assigned to either RECAP or a time-matched active control intervention on help-seeking. We predicted that completing the RECAP program would result in 1) fewer alcohol-related problems and 2) higher resilience 3-months post intervention. Participants’ resilience and alcohol-related problems were assessed at baseline (Time 1) and 3 months later (Time 2). Time 1 data was provided by 367 participants (188 males; mean age=19); Time 2 data was provided by 181 (91 males; mean age=19.5). A between subjects MANOVA indicated completers were comparable at baseline across conditions (p=.520) and the hypotheses could be tested despite the high attrition. The hypotheses were not supported. Two 2 x 2 mixed model ANOVAs revealed no significant main effects for condition or time, and no significant interactions for either DV. Findings suggest that a brief one-session resilience intervention is ineffective in reducing alcohol-related problems or promoting resilience in a college sample. Exploratory analyses investigating the relations between specific resilience factors and alcohol-related problems at both Time 1 and 2 revealed a distinct pattern of results: good predictive power by various resilience factors for proximal alcohol-related problems (e.g., Time 1 resilience predicting Time 1 alcohol problems) but poor predictive power for distal problems (e.g., Time 1 resilience predicting Time 2 alcohol problems). Most notable is that Time 1 and Time 2 specific resilience factors were only modestly correlated (mean r=.55). Resilience appeared best understood as a dynamic individual difference variable subject to the influence of external events; as such, the direction of the observed relation between resilience and alcohol-related problems may from alcohol-related problems to subjective resilience. Specifically, the experience of alcohol-related problems may lead an individual to doubt their abilities and reduce their subjective resilience; in contrast, those who do not experience an alcohol-related problem may retain higher resilience. Future research should continue to explore the dynamic nature of resilience factors over time to identify which may remain stable and which are more subject to change, allowing for the development of more effective resilience interventions.