The brothers and sisters can't be tamed. Alcohol usage interventions among college fraternity and sorority members were unsuccessful in reducing rates of alcohol consumption and its consequences, a new study found.
Researchers from the Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies and The Miriam Hospital found that despite university-led interventions or sanctions from national chapters, alcohol abuse rates among the college population are becoming a nationwide problem.
The findings of the new meta-analysis suggested the need for more vigorous alcohol intervention programs targeted towards members of Greek letter college societies.
Brown University associate professor Lori Scott-Sheldon, Ph.D., said that while interventions among heavy drinkers successfully lead to a strong and long-lasting decrease in alcohol use, the same cannot be said for a specific demographic.
"What is working for the broader college student population has been less effective for fraternity and sorority members, and we need to refine or create new interventions that work better for these students," added Scott-Sheldon, who is also a senior research scientist at the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam Hospital.
The research team analyzed several independent studies published between 1987 and 2014 that focused on alcohol interventions aimed at members of Greek letter organizations.
Specifically, the researchers discovered that the mediations that came with strategies for drinking moderation, goal setting and skills training were less effective.
On a positive note, they found that the interventions aimed at addressing the expectations linked to alcohol consumption helped reduce alcohol intake at specific times, such as weekends.
The researchers also highlighted that almost 80 percent of the total participants were frat members. In order to come up with a complete picture of the rising national problem, more data on the sorority members' drinking attitudes are needed.
"Reducing alcohol consumption and problems among fraternity and sorority members will require a different strategy relative to their college drinking peers," added Scott-Sheldon.
Looking into data of sorority members is especially important as many studies have revealed that sorority girls have higher chances of facing sexual assaults compared to the non-members, added Scott-Sheldon.
The research was published in the Health Psychology journal on May 16.
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