Seitz CM., Wyrick DL., Rulison KL., Strack RW., Fearnow-Kenney M. (2014), Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education. 58(2): 7-26

This study assessed perceptions about teammate and coach approval of alcohol and other drug use (i.e., injunctive norms) among a sample of 3,155 college student-athletes in their first year of athletic eligibility. Student-athletes perceived that their teammates were more approving of alcohol and other drug use as compared to coaches. A multi-level model analysis indicated that perceived approval from both teammates and coaches were independently associated with student-athletes’ alcohol and other drug use behaviors. Future research should explore whether substance use prevention programs that target normative beliefs specific to teammates and coaches may reduce alcohol and other drug use among college student athletes.

Wahesh E., Milroy JJ., Lewis TF., Orsini MM., Wyrick DL. (2013), Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education. 57(2): 66-84

College student-athletes and first-year students are two undergraduate populations at risk for heavy-episodic drinking and alcohol-related negative consequences. In this study, 63 (56% female, 62% Caucasian) first-year student-athletes completed a preliminary questionnaire assessing demographic characteristics, athlete-specific drinking motives, alcohol-related negative consequences, and season status. Scores of five or more on the ,4 UDIT-C defined the at-risk subsample. Participants who met the criteria for hazardous drinking (n = 19) reported higher levels of alcohol-related negative consequences and drinking motives. A logistic regression, with these variables, successfully distinguished between the two groups. Sport-related coping2, and positive reinforcement drinking motives, emerged as the most robust predictors of hazardous drinking. Implications for screening, prevention, and brief intervention strategies for first-year student-athletes are discussed.

Wyrick, D.L., Rulison, K.L., Fearnow-Kenney, M., Milroy, J.J., & Collins, L. (2014), Translational Behavioral Medicine: Practice, Policy and Research

Given current pressures to increase the public health contributions of behavioral interventions, intervention scientists may wish to consider moving beyond the classical treatment package approach that focuses primarily on achieving statistical significance. They may wish also to focus on goals directly related to optimizing public health impact. The Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) is an innovative methodological framework that draws on engineering principles to achieve more potent behavioral interventions. MOST is increasingly being adopted by intervention scientists seeking a systematic framework to engineer an optimized intervention. As with any innovation, there are challenges that arise with early adoption. This article describes the solutions to several critical questions that we addressed during the first-ever iterative application of MOST. Specifically, we describe how we have applied MOST to optimize an online program (myPlaybook) for the prevention of substance use among college student-athletes. Our application of MOST can serve as a blueprint for other intervention scientists who wish to design optimized behavioral interventions. We believe using MOST is feasible and has the potential to dramatically improve program effectiveness thereby advancing the public health impact of behavioral interventions.

Milroy, J.J., Orsini, M.M., Wyrick, Fearnow-Kenney, M., Kelly, S. E., D.L., Burley, J. (2015), Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education. 59(1)

Alcohol use among college student-athletes should be of great concern due to their risk for excessive consumption and related negative consequences compared to their non-athlete peers. Previous research has focused on reasons and/or motives for alcohol and other drug use among student-athletes, rather than non-use. Additionally, previous studies on student- athletes have typically focused on a single NCAA division Therefore, the purpose of this study sought to identify both reasons for use and non-use of alcohol among NCAA student- athletes, and explore potential differences by gender/sex, race/ethnicity and NCAA Division. In summary, there are significant differences for use and non-use of alcohol between males and female student-athletes, White and Black student-athletes, and student-athletes of differencing NCAA division (I, II, and III).

Strack, R. W., Orsini, M. M., Fearnow-Kenney, M., Herget, J., Milroy, J. J., & Wyrick, D. L. (2015), American Journal of Health Education, 46(4), 192-195

Information and communication technologies are opening up vast new arenas for conducting the work of health promotion. Technology-based health promotions expand reach, standardize information and its delivery, provide opportunities for tailoring, create engaging interactivity within content delivery, provide for privacy and autonomy, improve portability, and lower delivery costs. Here, Herget et aldescribe the ongoing exploration and development of a web-based tool for enhancing the reach and impact of Photovoice as a community change intervention.

Fearnow-Kenney, M., Wyrick, D. L., Milroy, J. J., Reifsteck, E., Kelly, S.E., Day, T.F. (In Press, June 2016), The Sport Psychologist

College student-athletes are at risk for heavy drinking. This behavior jeopardizes athletes’ general health and academic standing, and negatively impacts athletic performance. Effective prevention programming reduces these risks by tailoring content to college student- athletes that targets theory-based factors that have been shown to reduce future alcohol use. An initial evaluation study of the online myPlaybook prevention program was conducted with 1,673 student-athletes from 60 NCAA Division II institutions. Program factors are social norms, negative alcohol expectancies, and intentions to use alcohol-related harm prevention strategies. Results provide support for the myPlaybook program to significantly impact college student-athlete social norms regarding binge drinking, and intentions to prevent or reduce alcohol-related harm. Specific examples of how sport psychology professionals can challenge social norms, reinforce negative expectancies, and encourage harm prevention strategies are provided.

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