Alcohol risk reduction for fraternity and sorority members

Nancy Grant Harrington, Nancy L. Brigham, Richard R. Clayton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of 'Talking about Alcohol and Drugs ... Among Greeks' (TAAD), a lifestyle risk reduction program that is research- and theory-based, protocol-driven, and targeted for fraternity and sorority members. Method: One fraternity and two sororities on five campuses participated in the program. A total of 780 participants completed pre-and posttest questionnaires. Posttest data were collected 1 academic year after pretest data collection. Results: Results indicate that the program decreased positive attitudes toward alcohol consumption among program participants, with participants in the true experimental condition indicating greater disagreement than control participants (F = 3.05, 2/701 df, p < .05). Belief in myths about the etiology of alcoholism was reduced among experimental participants who did not actually attend the program, with those participants indicating greater disagreement than control or true experimental participants (F=10.92, 2/702 df, p < .0001). The program had no apparent effect on alcohol consumption by experimental participants. Conclusions: The program's ability to influence behavior was hindered by systemic problems, such as trainer credibility and implementation infidelity, and probable participant psychological reactance. Training by professionals and mandatory attendance would set the stage for improved program effectiveness. Beyond that, an approach that emphasized how high-risk drinking norms jeopardize the goals of the fraternities and sororities might be better received than the current approach, which focuses on how individual attitudes, beliefs and behaviors lead to alcohol-related problems and alcoholism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-527
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (all)


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