The effectiveness of an innovative intervention aimed at reducing binge drinking among young people: Results from a pilot study

Coleman L, Ramm J, Cooke, R
Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Journal article


Aims: To assess the effectiveness of a digital-story intervention (short videos made by young people) seeking to reduce the prevalence of young people's binge drinking in Caerphilly. Method: A quasi-experimental design was adopted with three intervention sites and one control site providing the sample (mainly aged 14-15 years). Three rounds of self-completion questionnaires, completed prior (T1), immediately after (T2) and 6 months after the intervention (T3). Findings: A total of 1031 questionnaires completed across the three time-points. Two-factor ANOVAs revealed a positive effect on knowledge for the intervention sample. The intervention group results showed stable attitudes towards drinking at the three time-points whilst the control group showed increasing positive attitudes towards drunkenness over the same time period. Intentions towards drunkenness were higher in the control group than the intervention group at T2 (Control-T1 Mean = 3.37, T2 Mean = 3.90; intervention-T1 Mean = 3.26, T2 Mean = 3.29). Intervention participants got drunk on fewer occasions in the last week (mean occasions last week = 1.57) compared to control participants (mean occasions last week = 2.00), with the difference approaching statistical significance (F = 1.90, p = 0.07). Conclusions: Promoting negative attitudes towards drunkenness, alongside a greater sense of control and potential regret about drunkenness are likely to be important factors when considering how to change people's intentions to drink. The study shows the potential to reduce the frequency of drinking behaviour when intentions are changed, and provides recommendations for future interventions of this nature.