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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Effectiveness of a Cue-Reminder Intervention to Reduce Adolescents' Alcohol Use in Social Contexts

To examine the use of a cue-reminder to target alcohol use among youth in social contexts.

Two experiments were conducted. First, among 92 late adolescents, we tested if a cue-reminder could be effectively associated with information about empowerment, awareness and monitoring of one's own limits with regard to alcohol use. Second, among 107 young adults, the effect of the cue in a real-life drinking setting was examined.

The first study showed that adolescents in the experimental condition recalled more empowerment information compared with adolescents in the control condition (mean 2.00 ± 0.92 vs mean 1.52 ± 0.96, P = 0.017), indicating the possibility of creating an association between a symbol (cue-reminder) and empowerment information with regard to alcohol use. In the second study, significant interaction effects between general drinking frequency and condition were found in relation to having an alcoholic consumption (β = −0.24; P = 0.027) and to the amount of alcoholic consumptions (β = −0.24; P = 0.035), suggesting that the presence of the cue-reminder in a drinking situation may have an inhibitory effect on alcohol consumption among frequent drinkers.

The cue-reminder seems to have the potential to function as an intervention to reduce excessive alcohol use in social settings.

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