Comparing self-affirmation manipulations to reduce alcohol consumption in university students

Kathy Vogt, John Stephenson, Paul Norman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Self-affirmation theory proposes that defensive processing prevents people from accepting health-risk messages, which may explain university students’ dismissal of risk-information about binge drinking. SA-interventions may encourage non-biased processing of such information through impacting on interpersonal feelings and self-esteem. This study compared two self-affirmation manipulations on interpersonal feelings, self-esteem, message processing, message acceptance and subsequent alcohol consumption. Participants: UK university students (N = 454). Methods: Participants were randomly allocated to one of three conditions (Self-affirmation Implementation Intention, Kindness Questionnaire, Control) before reading health-risk information about binge drinking. This was followed by measures of interpersonal feelings, self-esteem, message processing, acceptance and behavioral intentions. Alcohol consumption was assessed one week later. Results: The self-affirmation manipulations had non-significant effects on all outcome variables. Conclusion: Consistent with previous research, the results indicate that self-affirmation interventions are not effective for reducing alcohol consumption in university students.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of American College Health
Early online date3 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Nov 2021

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