Adolescent Self-Selection of Service Formats

Implications for Secondary Interventions Targeting Alcohol Use

Published in: The American Journal on Addictions, v. 15, suppl. 1, Dec. 2006, p. 58-66

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2006

by Elizabeth J. D'Amico, Kristen G. Anderson, Jane Metrik, Kevin C. Frissell, Timothy Ellingstad, Sandra A. Brown

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A novel motivational enhancement based secondary alcohol intervention has been shown to increase quit attempts for youth with heavier alcohol use histories (Brown et al., 2005). In the present study, the authors examined rates of self-selection into the three formats of this alcohol intervention: group, individual, and website; and examined differences between intervention participants and the general school population and across the three formats. Over four years, students at four schools were surveyed (n = 6000) and were provided the opportunity to participate in Project Options (PO). Youth who were selected into PO (n = 1147) were younger and more likely to identify as African American or Multiple/Other ethnicity than the school populations. More teens in PO reported lifetime alcohol use (65% vs. 60%); however, the school population reported more current (past 30 day) drinking. Boys were more likely to utilize the group format and minority youth were more likely to select the individual format. Findings highlight the utility of multiple intervention formats to engage youth in early intervention for alcohol problems.

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