Test of a Deviance Regulation Theory Intervention Among First Year College Student Drinkers: Differential Effects via Frequency and Quantity Norms Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: First-time-in-college (FTIC) students, or college freshmen, are at a heightened risk of experiencing alcohol-related consequences, as these individuals are relatively inexperienced with alcohol and have tremendous pressure to assimilate to new norms. The current study investigates the use of a Deviance Regulation Theory (DRT) intervention, presented in a web-based format, to increase the use of Protective Behavioral Strategies (PBS) among FTIC students. METHOD: FTIC students (n = 157) completed weekly surveys for six weeks, which examined alcohol use and consequences, PBS use, and perceived PBS norms. Participants were randomly assigned one of three conditions: 1) a positive-framed message about individuals who do use PBS, 2) a negative-framed message about individuals who do not use PBS, or 3) a control group that received no messaging. RESULTS: Results suggest the negative-framed message increases PBS use across time for individuals high PBS norms, consistent with DRT. The positive-frame message did not change PBS use across time. However, the positive message was associated with more PBS use at the weekly-level when an individual had low PBS norms, consistent with DRT. Results also suggest PBS norms grew across time. CONCLUSIONS: These results provide initial support for the use of a DRT prevention program for FTIC students.

altmetric score

  • 3.7

author list (cited authors)

  • Leary, A., Dvorak, R., Troop-Gordon, W., Blanton, H., Peterson, R., Matthew, .., De Leon, A., & Magri, T.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Leary, Angelina||Dvorak, Robert||Troop-Gordon, Wendy||Blanton, Hart||Peterson, Roselyn||De Leon, Ardhys||Magri, Tatiana

Book Title

  • PsyArXiv

publication date

  • May 2020