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Diana M. Doumas and Tonya Haustveit

This study evaluated the efficacy of a Web-based personalized feedback program aimed at reducing drinking in freshman intercollegiate athletes. The program was offered through the Athletic Department freshman seminar at a NCAA Division I university. Seminar sections were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: Web-based personalized feedback (WPF) or Web-based education (WE). Assessment measures were completed at baseline, 6 weeks, and 3 months. Athletes were classified as high-risk or low-risk drinkers based on baseline reports of binge drinking. Results indicated for high-risk athletes, students in the WPF condition reported significantly greater reductions in drinking and changes in beliefs about peer drinking than those in the WE condition. In addition, reductions in drinking were related to reductions in peer drinking estimates for athletes in the WPF group. Findings provide initial support for the efficacy of Web-based personalized feedback for reducing the quantity and frequency of heavy drinking in freshman intercollegiate athletes.

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Diana M. Doumas, Rob Turrisi and Dale A. Wright

This study examined athletic status and adult attachment as risk factors for high-risk drinking in 249 freshmen. Results of hierarchical regression analyses indicated attachment avoidance was related positively to high-risk drinking for former high school and collegiate athletes, but related inversely to high-risk drinking for nonathletes. Further, athletes with high attachment avoidance reported the highest levels of heavy drinking and associated consequences. Findings suggest athletes with high attachment avoidance may use drinking as a coping strategy to manage discomfort associated with social situations and this strategy is likely an extension of patterns established in high school. Clinical implications include providing prevention programs for both high school and collegiate athletes, with an emphasis on targeting interpersonal avoidance and discomfort with relationships.