• Journal Article

Mediating mechanisms of a military web-based alcohol intervention


Williams, J., Herman-Stahl, M., Calvin, S., Pemberton, M., & Bradshaw, M. (2009). Mediating mechanisms of a military web-based alcohol intervention. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 100(3), 248-257.


This study explored the mediating mechanisms of two Web-based alcohol interventions in a sample of active duty United States military personnel. Personnel were recruited from eight bases and received the Drinker's Check-Up (N=1483), Alcohol Savvy (N=688), or served as controls (N=919). The interventions drew on motivational interviewing and social learning theory and targeted multiple mediators including social norms, perceived risks and benefits, readiness to change, and coping strategies. Baseline data were collected prior to the intervention and follow-up data on alcohol consumption were gathered 1 month and 6 months after program completion. Two mediation models were examined: (1) a longitudinal two-wave model with outcomes and mediators assessed concurrently at the 1-month follow-up; and (2) a three-wave model in which the causal chain was fully lagged. Results indicated strong support for the role of perceived descriptive norms in transmitting the effects of the Drinker's Check-Up, with consistent mediation across the majority of alcohol outcome measures for both the concurrent and fully lagged mediation models. These results suggest that web-based interventions that are effective in lowering perceived norms about the frequency and quantity of drinking may be a viable strategy for reducing alcohol consumption in military populations. The results did not support program mediation by the other targeted variables, indicating the need for future research on the effective components of alcohol interventions. The mediation models also suggest reasons why program effects were not found for some outcomes or were different across programs