A pilot study on the effects of brief-ACT on college student drinking, correlates of drinking, and cognitive fusion

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Institution: Baylor University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Drinking. College student drinking. Harm reduction. Brief therapy. Acceptance. Mindfulness. Cognitive fusion.
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2135248
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2104/9845


The current study aimed to examine the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of a single session of modified Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. The study investigated whether various drinking outcome variables, cognitive fusion, a theoretically-hypothesized mechanism of change in ACT which has yet to be studied empirically, and dispositional mindfulness would significantly reduce after the intervention. The study also explored associations between outcome variables (drinking variables and cognitive fusion) and other process variables (e.g., cognitive fusion, dispositional mindfulness, and drinking coping motives). Participants were 139 undergraduate students who completed questionnaires at baseline (BL), the intervention, and then questionnaires at follow-up (FU; two- to four-weeks post-intervention). Statistically significant reductions were found in all drinking outcomes, cognitive fusion, and dispositional mindfulness (Cohen’s d’s = .22 – 1.78) from BL to FU. Exploratory autoregressive analyses found significant associations between all drinking outcomes and coping motives, but not between drinking outcomes and either cognitive fusion or dispositional mindfulness. A post-hoc hierarchical linear regression found a significant two-way interaction effect indicating that cognitive fusion moderated the relationship between BL and FU negative alcohol-related consequences, such that participants who were high in BL cognitive fusion had greater rank order stability between BL and FU negative alcohol-related consequences and those low in BL cognitive fusion had less rank order stability in negative alcohol-related consequences from BL to FU. Results provide initial support for the effectiveness of a single session ACT intervention among a population of college students. Implications for further intervention refinement and future research are summarized. Advisors/Committee Members: Dolan, Sara Lynn (advisor).