Creating a Research-Based Campus Alcohol Program
Why Do It?
Where To Begin?
How Do I Take Action?
How Can I Sustain Interest in the Program?
Once college and university presidents are committed to using a research-based approach, the next step is to establish administrative norms that:
Support is also needed on a more global level. Schools cannot be expected to mount campaigns for or implement research-based approaches on their own. Commitments are needed from the community surrounding the campus, as well as from funding sources such as foundations, national organizations, and the hospitality and alcohol beverage industries to support only comprehensive, research-based strategies for addressing underage and excessive college drinking. Concerted efforts by State and Federal policymakers and leaders from the broad-based alcohol abuse prevention and treatment fields are also essential to achieving this goal.
Credible research provides the foundation for making solid programming decisions. The sophisticated methods employed in contemporary research are producing information that:
In the Task Force's view, the prospects for genuine progress in addressing underage and excessive student drinking are enhanced substantially when colleges and universities can:
External resources can help presidents ensure that these important activities are integrated within a school's program for addressing hazardous student drinking.
Defining Credible Research
Task Force members relied on credible research to understand the impact of high-risk drinking on campus and formulate recommendations for addressing it. In contrast to research that is methodologically weak or where more has been inferred than the data allow, credible research increases understanding.
Sound research follows the principles of the scientific method and uses as many rigorous methodological techniques as possible when designing studies. Among those techniques are randomized assignment of study subjects to control and experimental groups, use of pre- and post-observations or multiple observations when feasible, and use of probability sampling.
Whereas findings from inadequately designed, implemented, or analyzed research can lead to erroneous conclusions, credible research advances the practice of alcohol problem prevention and treatment by generating, methodically applying, and testing new ideas.
Last reviewed: 9/23/2005