Using the Solid Research Base on Pregaming to Begin Intervention Development

An Epilogue to the Special Issue on Pregaming

Published in: Substance Use & Misuse, v. 51, no. 8, July 2016, p. 1067-1073

Posted on RAND.org on June 30, 2016

by Eric R. Pedersen

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The pregaming research to date, up to and including the innovative studies included in this special issue, has centered on defining the behavior, learning which students may be most at-risk for pregaming, exploring which contexts may be most risky for pregaming, and quantifying the function of pregaming so that individual-level programs can be developed to target the risky practice. Although there is room for continuing to expand and refine our understanding of pregaming, much of the formative work has been conducted—primarily by the researchers highlighted in this special issue. Now it is time to use the understanding we have of this risky behavior to develop and empirically test programs specifically directed toward reducing or eliminating the behavior, not just at the individual level, but by targeting the social, cultural, economic, environmental, and policy level factors that sustain the behavior in the population. This may include targeting the behavior directly through use of techniques that are shown to be effective for young adult behavior change, but this may also require broadening beyond the psychological literature and utilizing expertise from other domains to affect behavior change.

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