Readiness to change in brief motivational interventions: A requisite condition for drinking reductions?


Brief motivational interventions (BMIs) have been found to be efficacious for reducing alcohol use and consequences among college student drinkers. Despite the putative emphasis on motivation, surprisingly little is known about the role of motivation in BMI-facilitated changes. Using data from three published randomized trials implementing BMIs, we examined motivation or readiness to change (RTC) as a potential mechanism of behavior change. Two of the three studies indicated that BMI were associated with increases in motivation to change alcohol use that are apparent immediately after BMI sessions and persist up to 6-months post-intervention. However, RTC does not appear to be a mechanism of behavior change, as it did not mediate reductions in alcohol use or problems in any of the studies. Issues regarding the conceptualization and measurement of RTC are discussed, as well as promising directions for future research.

Publication Title

Addictive Behaviors