Combining motivational and volitional approaches to reducing excessive alcohol consumption in pre-drinkers: A theory-based intervention protocol

Kim M. Caudwell, Barbara A. Mullan, Martin S. Hagger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
76 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Pre-drinking refers to the consumption of alcohol at home or a private residence prior to attending a subsequent social event. We present the study protocol of an online theory-based intervention to reduce pre-drinking and related harm in pre-drinking undergraduates, using behavior change techniques targeting the motivational and volitional phases of behaviour. 

Design: A fully randomized 2 (autonomy support: present vs. absent) x 2 (implementation intention: present vs. absent) between-participants design will be used to ascertain the effectiveness of the intervention in reducing pre-drinking alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm. Participants will complete a range of theory-based measures prior to being allocated to one of the four experimental conditions. Four weeks later, participants will complete a follow-up questionnaire comprised of theoretical and behavioral measures. 

Analyses: The main and interactive effects of the intervention components in reducing our primary dependent variables, namely, pre-drinking alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm at four-week follow-up will be tested. Baseline alcohol consumption and demographic information will be included in the analysis as covariates. 

Discussion: This online intervention is the first to be developed to reduce pre-drinking alcohol consumption, a behaviour linked to increased risk of alcohol-related harm. The intervention targets motivational and volitional components of the behaviour change process and is therefore likely to lead to greater reductions in pre-drinking alcohol consumption and experience of alcohol-related harm compared to either approach in isolation. If successful, the intervention can be implemented across various contexts and in populations where pre-drinking is prevalent. Trial registration: ACTRN12614001102662. Registered 16 October 2014.

Original languageEnglish
Article number45
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Caudwell et al.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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