Background: Commercially available, web-based interventions for the prevention of alcohol use are being adopted for universal use with first-year college students, yet few have received empirical evaluation. Objectives: This randomized controlled trial investigated the effectiveness of a novel, commercially available, personalized web-based alcohol intervention, Alcohol-Wise (version 4.0, 3rd Millennium Classrooms), on multiple measures of alcohol consumption, alcohol consequences, alcohol expectancies, academic achievement, and adaptation to college in first-year students. Method: Participants received Alcohol-Wise either prior to first semester or were waitlisted and received the intervention second semester. As longitudinal effectiveness was of interest, follow-up surveys were conducted 10 weeks (n = 76) and 24 weeks (n = 64) following the web-based alcohol intervention. Results: Completion of Alcohol-Wise had effects on academic achievement. Specifically, at the 24 week follow-up, academic achievement was higher in participants who received the intervention first semester of their freshman year as compared to the waitlist control. The incremental rise in heavy episodic drinking during the first semester of college was also reduced in waitlisted participants by Alcohol-Wise administration prior to second semester. Conclusion/Importance: Implications for the timing of web-based alcohol interventions to include administration prior to both first and second semesters of the freshman year are discussed.
- first-year students
- universal delivery
- web-based alcohol intervention