Scientists at King’s College London sought to determine how well alcohol therapy worked on teenagers. Instead of yet another D.A.R.E.-like program where messages about the dangers of alcohol are the same for every student, researchers took a more mental health-based approach to this intervention.
They tailored the treatment to each student’s personality, specifically four personality traits that are also risk factors for alcohol use: anxiety sensitivity, hopelessness, impulsivity, and sensation seeking.
Students displaying one or all of these traits were classified as either at high or low risk for future alcohol dependence. A total of 2,548 10th graders in 21 schools in London were evaluated and their drinking habits were then monitored for two years. Of those students, 709 were classified as high-risk and invited to attend two workshops that focused on cognitive-behavioral strategies for coping with their particular personality traits.
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