Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Committee Chair

James Murphy

Committee Member

Robert Cohen

Committee Member

Jia Wei Zhang


Intention to change predicts change in drinking following an intervention, but many people who intend to change do not follow through and little research has examined factors that might account for this intention-change disconnect. Behavioral economic research suggests that elevated alcohol demand, deficits in environmental reward, and steep discounting of delayed rewards are associated with stable heavy drinking, and the current study tests the hypothesis that these individual difference risk variables will moderate the relationship between intention and change in drinking in a sample of heavy drinking college students following a brief alcohol intervention. Moderation analyses were conducted with behavioral economic moderators (alcohol demand, response contingent barriers to positive reinforcement, and importance of immediate versus distal behavioral outcomes), self-reported likeliness to change (independent variable), and change in weekly alcohol consumption (dependent variable). Overall, greater post-session intent to change predicted greater reductions in drinking and related problems. Environmental suppression and alcohol demand emerged as significant moderators of the association between intention and typical weekly drinking at one-month follow-up. Individuals with low intent to change, combined with elevated demand or low substance-free reward, are least likely to reduce their drinking; however, elevated behavioral economic risk did not reduce the predictive utility of post-session intentions on drinking reductions, suggesting that post-session intentions are positive prognostic indicators even among high-risk drinkers.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest