Award Date

August 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Brad Donohue

Second Committee Member

Kimberly Barchard

Third Committee Member

Andrew Freeman

Fourth Committee Member

Liam Frink

Number of Pages



Introduction: Motivation is an integral part of human life and one of the most fundamental aspects of behavior change. Of interest to the present study are two motivational approaches, Negative Consequences Review (NCR) and Positive Consequences Review (PCR). NCR is an intervention component originally designed as part of Family Behavior Therapy (FBT) to motivate individuals with their goals through a discussion of negative consequences associated with undesired behaviors. PCR was developed as an auxiliary component of FBT to inspire individuals’ motivation to achieve their goals through a discussion about positive consequences of reaching goals. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the relative effects of NCR, PCR, or a relaxation exercise (active control) in their ability to (1) increase motivation of college students to perform healthy lifestyle behaviors, (2) facilitate goal achievement, (3) improve mood, and (4) increase openness to seeking professional assistance. Method: Participants were 93 undergraduate students who were randomly assigned to one of the three conditions. They were assessed at three time-points: baseline, post-session, and 7-day follow-up. Results: Separate mixed-design repeated measures ANOVAs with one between-subjects factor (i.e., condition, three levels) and one within-subjects factor (i.e., time, three levels), and subsequent Fisher’s Least Significant Difference (LSD) post-hoc tests, indicated both NCR and PCR were more effective than the active control condition in enhancing motivation, goal achievement, and positive affect, with PCR yielding larger effect sizes (ps < .05). No significant interaction effects were found in reducing negative affect and increasing desire to seek professional assistance (ps > .05). Discussion: This randomized controlled trial provides robust empirical support for the efficacy of these interventions as brief motivational techniques that can be used as stand-alone interventions or complementary techniques for other treatment approaches. Other future directions are discussed in light of the results.


Brief intervention; Consequence review; Goal achievement; Help-seeking; Mood; Motivation


Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Clinical Psychology | Psychology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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