Project INTEGRATE: An integrative study of brief alcohol interventions for college students

Eun Young Mun, Jimmy De La Torre, David C. Atkins, Helene R. White, Anne E. Ray, Su Young Kim, Yang Jiao, Nickeisha Clarke, Yan Huo, Mary E. Larimer, David Huh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


This article provides an overview of a study that synthesizes multiple, independently collected alcohol intervention studies for college students into a single, multisite longitudinal data set. This research embraced innovative analytic strategies (i.e., integrative data analysis or meta-analysis using individual participant-level data), with the overall goal of answering research questions that are difficult to address in individual studies such as moderation analysis, while providing a built-in replication for the reported efficacy of brief motivational interventions for college students. Data were pooled across 24 intervention studies, of which 21 included a comparison or control condition and all included one or more treatment conditions. This yielded a sample of 12,630 participants (42% men; 58% first-year or incoming students). The majority of the sample identified as White (74%), with 12% Asian, 7% Hispanic, 2% Black, and 5% other/mixed ethnic groups. Participants were assessed 2 or more times from baseline up to 12 months, with varying assessment schedules across studies. This article describes how we combined individual participant-level data from multiple studies, and discusses the steps taken to develop commensurate measures across studies via harmonization and newly developed Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms for 2-parameter logistic item response theory models and a generalized partial credit model. This innovative approach has intriguing promises, but significant barriers exist. To lower the barriers, there is a need to increase overlap in measures and timing of follow-up assessments across studies, better define treatment and control groups, and improve transparency and documentation in future single intervention studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-48
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 American Psychological Association.


  • Alcohol interventions
  • Brief motivational interventions
  • College students
  • Integrative data analysis
  • Meta-analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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