Reducing DUI among US college students: results of an environmental prevention trial

C. A. RUSSELL, J. Clapp, A. Shillington, R. Voas, J. Lange, M. Johnson


mars 2005, vol. 100, n°3

Départements : Marketing

Aims Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is among the most common and serious alcohol-related problems experienced by US college students. Community-based prevention trials using environmental approaches to DUI prevention have been effective in reducing DUI. Such interventions remain untested in college settings. This study is the first to test the efficacy of an environmental prevention campaign to reduce DUI among college students.Design We used a quasi-experimental non-equivalent comparison group design to test the efficacy of the DUI prevention intervention. Students at the experimental university were exposed to a DUI prevention intervention that included a social marketing campaign, a media advocacy campaign and increased law enforcement (DUI checkpoints and roving DUI patrols).Setting Students from two large public universities located along the US/Mexico border participated in the seven-semester study.Participants In total, 4832 college students took part.Measures Using telephone interviews of randomly selected students, we took pre- and postintervention measures of self-reported DUI.Findings Self-reported DUI (past year) decreased significantly from pre-test to post-test (odds ratio = 0.55) at the intervention school, whereas rates at the comparison campus remained stable. The campus'intervention interaction was statistically significant (P < 0.05), suggesting that the campaign led to the observed change in DUI.Conclusions Environmental DUI campaigns similar to those validated in community prevention trials can be effective in college settings. Further research, however, is needed to determine the robustness of the changes associated with such campaigns.