Personality-Targeted Prevention Program for Adolescent Alcohol Use and Misuse




Patricia J. Conrod, Ph.D., with Universite de Montreal, Centre Hospitalier et Universitaire Ste Justine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and colleagues conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial to report 24-month outcomes of the Teacher-Delivered Personality-Targeted Interventions for Substance Misuse Trial, in which school staff were trained to provide interventions to students with one of four high-risk profiles: anxiety sensitivity, hopelessness, impulsivity, and sensation seeking.

The authors observed targeted effects of the program on all drinking outcomes, and for the duration of the follow-up period, with high risk youth in intervention schools reporting 29 percent reduced odds of drinking, 43 percent reduced odds of binge drinking, and 29 percent reduced odds of problem drinking, relative to high risk youths in control schools.

“Findings further support the personality-targeted approach to alcohol prevention and its effectiveness when provided by trained school staff,” the authors conclude. “Particularly novel are the findings of some mild herd effects that result from this selective prevention program” (Online First).

(JAMA Psychiatry. Published online January 23, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.651.