Can targeting substance misuse risk in university students be an effective strategy for injury prevention?
The proposed research project is a novel addition to a larger funded trial evaluating a substance misuse intervention program for university students, Univenture, that is being carried out at five universities across Canada. The postdoctoral project is experimental in nature and aimed to investigate whether the personality-targeted psychological intervention for substance misuse also results in reduced risk-taking behaviors and physical injury among 1st and 2nd year university undergraduate students. The intervention program targets four personality traits – anxiety sensitivity, hopelessness, sensation seeking, and impulsivity – which have been found to be positively associated with both substance use and other risk-taking behavior in emerging adults in prior research. Results of the postdoctoral project could have substantial positive influence on university policies and programming for the prevention of substance-related injury on Canadian campuses. Injury Free Nova Scotia (IFNS) – a non-profit organization based in Nova Scotia – is partnering on the research project with Dalhousie University.