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Journal Article


Quinn CA, Hides L, de Andrade D, Pocuca N, Wilson M, Kavanagh DJ. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2019; 38(4): 339-348.


Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research, Centre for Children's Health Research, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation and School of Psychology and Counselling, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.


(Copyright © 2019, John Wiley and Sons)






INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: Many young people engage in risky partying behaviours and excessive alcohol use in the transition period following high school graduation. Despite this, there is limited longitudinal research on adolescents before and after school graduation; and limited evaluation of interventions targeting these high-risk periods. The present study aims to address this gap in the literature by examining the impact of brief psychoeducation interventions on substance use, psychological distress and well-being during this important life transition. DESIGN AND METHODS: Participants were 334 high school leavers (53% female, Mage  = 17.14) from Queensland, Australia. They received either: (i) a psychoeducation intervention on safe partying behaviours; (ii) a reconstructed version of the psychoeducation intervention; or (iii) a standard health curriculum control. Surveys were conducted at baseline; 2 weeks, immediately following post-graduation celebratory event 'Schoolies'; and 4 months, immediately following university orientation 'O-week'.

RESULTS: Significant time by group effects were found for problem drinking, F(2, 227) = 3.07, P < 0.05, and well-being, F(4, 439) = 3.54, P < 0.01. There was stability in problem drinking from baseline to follow-up for the psychoeducation groups but small increases in problem drinking for the control (d = 0.12). Both psychoeducation groups had improvements in well-being scores from baseline to post-Schoolies (d = 0.40; 0.20), which were maintained across time. In contrast, the control condition showed a decrease in well-being scores from baseline to the post O-week follow-up (d = 0.15).

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Brief school-based psychoeducational interventions may result in small improvements in well-being, and possibly stabilise the trajectory of problematic drinking in high-risk environments.

© 2019 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.

Language: en


Schoolies; alcohol and other drug use; intervention; mental health; well-being


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