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Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity Advisors Vol. 3, Iss. 1, March 2008

DEVELOPING, IMPLEMENTING, AND EVALUATING INNOVATIVE SORORITY SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION IN THE EVIDENCE-BASED ERA Andrew Wall, Ph.D., Logan Hazen, Ed.D., Mickey Trockel, M.D., Ph.D., and Becky Markwell This article describes the development, implementation, and evaluation of a pilot, multi-faceted, and multi-session alcohol abuse prevention program conducted in conjunction with two sorority chapters. The process and product of the pilot program are illustrative of the use of theory and evidence-based practices in the creation of innovative substance abuse prevention efforts among fraternal organizations within higher education. Findings point to practical implementation challenges and to promising evidence of program impact. Recommendations inform practitioners in implementing evidence-based practices with fraternal chapters. Despite the best efforts of fraternities and sororities and their advisors, the image of alcohol use as a core component of the fraternal experience pervades in higher education (Workman, 2001). Increasingly, targeted interventions show promise in addressing the short-term harm associated with heavy college student alcohol use, and a few studies suggest brief interventions can help enact lasting changes in use among college students (Hunter & Mazurek, 2004; LaBrie, Pedersen, Lamb, & Quinlan, 2007; Larimer et al., 2001; Larimer, Kilmer & Lee, 2005; McNally & Palfai, 2003). Problematic for leaders interested in addressing alcohol abuse among fraternity and sorority members are persistent cultures that cede social status to those who abuse alcohol (Cashin, Presley, & Meilman, 1998; Kuh & Arnold, 1993; Plucker & Teed, 2004; Thombs & Briddick, 2000). This article reports on the development, implementation, and evaluation of a pilot program intended to alter individual use and the culture of alcohol consumption among sorority chapters on two different campuses. The description of fraternity and sorority affiliated students as heavy alcohol users is portrayed throughout the media and supported by empirical inquiry (Caudill et al., 2006; Presley, Meilman, & Leichliter, 2002; Wechsler, Kuh, & Davenport, 1996; Workman, 2001). In a review of literature on fraternity drinking, Borsari and Carey (1999) found that members self-select into heavy drinking cultures, alcohol remains central to fraternity socialization, and fraternal environments support use and abuse. Indeed, recent research suggests that chapter consumption expectations are strongly predictive of consumption behavior, indicating strong social orientation of members (Trockel, Wall, Williams, & Reis, in press). A comprehensive study of 98 chapters of one national fraternity found that 97% reported being drinkers, and 83% met the criteria for heavy drinking (Caudill et al., 2006). This recent empirical work reinforces the existing images of fraternal organizations as pervasive cultures of alcohol use.

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Profile for Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors

Oracle: Volume 3, Issue 1, March 2008  

Articles include: Leadership Development Through the Fraternity Experience and the Relationship to Career Success After Graduation; Developi...

Oracle: Volume 3, Issue 1, March 2008  

Articles include: Leadership Development Through the Fraternity Experience and the Relationship to Career Success After Graduation; Developi...

Profile for afa1976