Do genetic and individual risk factors moderate the efficacy of motivational enhancement therapy? Drinking outcomes with an emerging adult sample
Research indicates that motivational enhancement therapy (MET) helps catalyze reductions in problem drinking among emerging adults. However, moderators of this intervention remain relatively unknown. Therefore, the objectives of this study were: (1) to test whether a single session of MET increased motivation to reduce drinking and drinking outcomes; and (2) to examine whether genetic dopamine D4 receptor L (DRD4 L) and individual personality risk factors (impulsivity and novelty seeking) moderated the effects of the MET. These hypotheses were evaluated by randomly assigning a sample of emerging adult problem drinkers (n = 67) to receive a single session of MET or alcohol education. Follow-up data indicated that only individuals who were low in impulsivity, novelty seeking and/or who had the short DRD4 variable number of tandem repeats genotype evidenced differentially increased behavior change (taking steps toward reducing drinking) following the MET.