Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title
Bonar EE, Bauermeister JA, Blow FC, Bohnert ASB, Bourque C, Coughlin LN, Davis AK, Florimbio AR, Goldstick JE, Wisnieski DM, Young SD, Walton MA. A randomized controlled trial of social media interventions for risky drinking among adolescents and emerging adults. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2022 Aug 1; 237:109532.
PURPOSE: Alcohol use among adolescents and emerging adults is an important public health issue requiring prevention approaches. Herein, we describe outcomes from a randomized controlled trial testing the efficacy of group-based social media interventions targeting risky drinking among youth. PROCEDURES: Using social media advertisements to screen potential participants, we recruited 955 youth (ages 16-24) reporting recent risky drinking. After completing a baseline assessment, participants were randomized to 8-week secret Facebook group conditions: Social Media Intervention + Incentives for engagement, Social Media Intervention only, and attention-placebo control. Electronic coaches trained in motivational interviewing facilitated interaction in intervention groups. Primary outcomes include past 3-month alcohol use and consequences over 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-ups. Secondary outcomes include other drug use, consequences, and impaired driving. We also measured intervention engagement and acceptability. RESULTS: The interventions were well-received, with significantly greater acceptability ratings and engagement in the SMI+I condition relative to other groups. In adjusted analyses, there were no significant differences between interventions and control on alcohol-related outcomes, with all groups showing reductions. Regarding secondary outcomes (70.4% used other drugs), compared to control, the incentivized group reduced other drug use, consequences, and cannabis-impaired driving; the non-incentivized group did not significantly differ from the control condition. CONCLUSIONS: Among this predominantly poly-substance using sample, findings were mixed, with significant effects of the incentivized social media intervention on drug (but not alcohol) outcomes. Future studies are needed to further refine social media-delivered interventions to reduce alcohol and other drug use. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02809586; University of Michigan HUM#00102242.