The Effects of a Web-Based Alcohol Prevention Program on Social Norms, Expectancies, and Intentions to Prevent Harm among College Student-Athletes

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 Virginia Commonwealth University
  • | 2 University of North Carolina at Greensboro
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College athletes are at risk for heavy alcohol use, which jeopardizes their general health, academic standing, and athletic performance. Effective prevention programming reduces these risks by targeting theory-based intermediate factors that predict alcohol use while tailoring content to student-athletes. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the myPlaybook online prevention program on student-athletes’ social norms, negative alcohol expectancies, and intentions to use alcohol-related harm prevention strategies. NCAA Division II student-athletes were recruited from 60 institutions across the United States to complete myPlaybook and pretest/posttest surveys measuring demographics and targeted outcome variables. Participants were randomly assigned to the treatment group (pretest-program-posttest; final n = 647) or the delayed treatment “control” group (pretest-posttest-program; final n = 709). Results revealed significant program effects on social norms (p < .01) and intentions to use harm prevention strategies (p < .01), while the effect on negative alcohol expectancies was nonsignificant (p = .14). Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Fearnow-Kenney is with the Global Education Office, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA. Wyrick, Milroy, Reifsteck, Day, and Kelly are with the Institute to Promote Athlete Health and Wellness, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC.

Address author correspondence to Erin J. Reifsteck to