Theory of Planned Behavior constructs as mediators of behavior change associated with a brief alcohol intervention

Denise Kay Servo, University of Texas at El Paso


This study examined the Theory of Planned Behavior constructs (attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control [PBC], and behavioral intentions) as mediators of changes in alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems in a longitudinal sample of 206 college students. The Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) is a program designed to curb risky alcohol consumption and its related consequences among college students. Eligible students completed a baseline assessment battery at assessment and again six months after participating in BASICS. The AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) assessed alcohol consumption and the RAPI (Rutgers Alcohol Problem Inventory) assessed alcohol-related problems. A semantic differential scale designed for the study assessed attitudes towards binge drinking, subjective norms (e.g. “Friends who are important to me encourage me to binge drink,” and “Most people important to me drink moderately or not at all”) items, and a 4-item measure assessed perceived behavioral control (PBC). Results showed that AUDIT and RAPI scores declined significantly from baseline to follow-up. Significant decreases in AUDIT and RAPI scores may be attributed to changes in attitudes towards binge drinking, PBC, and behavioral intentions to binge drink. For instance, at six months follow-up, students showed more negative attitudes towards binge drinking and thus showed a corresponding reduction in behavioral intentions to binge drink. Subjective norms components failed to show significant changes over time. Overall, the TPB was shown to have strong predictive ability in predicting alcohol consumption among mostly Hispanic college students.

Subject Area

Social psychology|Public health

Recommended Citation

Servo, Denise Kay, "Theory of Planned Behavior constructs as mediators of behavior change associated with a brief alcohol intervention" (2008). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1461167.