Semester of Graduation

Spring 2019

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Although online personalized feedback interventions (PFIs) that include personalized normative feedback (PNF) have been found to reduce drinking in college populations (for review, see Miller et al., 2013), there is little evidence to support that similar PFIs reduce risky cannabis use in college students (e.g., Elliott, Carey, & Vanable, 2014). The present study sought to examine perceived risk, a leading indicator of cannabis use (Bachman, Johnston, & O'Malley, 1998), as a potential intervention target for online cannabis PFIs. Undergraduate students who reported current (past-month) cannabis use and experiencing at least one past three-month cannabis use-related problem were randomly assigned to receive a feedback control condition (n = 102) or PFI (n = 102). Condition was not related follow-up perceived risk or to any follow-up outcomes (i.e., use frequency, use-related problems, problem-related distress). Follow-up perceived risk or norms did not mediate the relationship between condition and outcomes. Gender moderated the relationship between condition and follow-up problems, such that males in the PFI condition reported greater problems than males in the feedback control condition and females in the PFI condition reported fewer problems than females in the feedback control condition. Baseline problem distress moderated the relationship between condition and follow-up problems, such that those with high distress in the PFI condition reported fewer problems at follow-up than in the feedback control condition. Results suggest that perceived risk of cannabis may not be readily modified via a one-session online intervention. Cannabis PFIs may be efficacious for reducing cannabis use-related problems among females (but not males) and those with high problem distress. Novel PFI components must be considered to increase the efficacy of brief, online interventions for cannabis-using college students, especially among male cannabis users.

Committee Chair

Buckner, Julia

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