Examining a Brief Parent Intervention to Reduce College Student Drinking and Consequences

Duration: 2020 - 2025
Funding: National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Principal Investigator: Robert Turrisi
Partners: Penn State Office of Student Affairs

young adults playing beer pong


The project team will conduct 15-20 minute interviews with randomly selected parents of incoming Penn State University Park students and then will evaluate whether this intervention will result in less risky drinking and associated negative consequences. The interview process, dubbed "P-Chat," is designed to be informative and non-judgmental.  

Interview participants will learn that scientific studies have consistently shown that allowing teen drinking has consistently been linked to more frequent negative consequences across students’ college years, including blackouts, drinking more often and more heavily, and a greater likelihood of driving under the influence or riding with an impaired driver. These outcomes can negatively affect students' grades, their physical and emotional well-being, and can put them at greater risk of assault or legal problems.  

The study participants will be divided into four groups. The first group will participate in the P-Chat interview; the second will participate in the interview and receive a 20-page handbook written by Robert Turrisi, titled "Talking with College Students about Alcohol"; the third will receive the handbook only; and the fourth will be a control group with no intervention.

Project Team