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NCJ Number: 201574 Find in a Library
Title: Perceived Drinking Norms, Attention to Social Comparison Information, and Alcohol Use Among College Students
Journal: Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education  Volume:46  Issue:3  Dated:Spring 2001  Pages:18-33
Author(s): Katerine B. Novak; Lizabeth A. Crawford
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study assessed the extent to which a dispositional susceptibility to peer influence moderated the relationship between college undergraduates' use and abuse of alcohol and normative campus drinking practices.
Abstract: A total of 261 undergraduate students (154 females and 107 males) at a medium-sized, private Midwestern university completed a comprehensive survey form during the spring of 2001. The variables measured were perceived drinking norms at the college, susceptibility to peer influence (Attention to Social comparison Information subscale), alcohol use, and control variables. The latter variables were gender, parents' education, and year in school. Consistent with prior research, the study found that the perception that alcohol use and abuse are common campus activities was associated with high levels of drinking across students. Attention to social comparison information (susceptibility to peer influence) also had a direct positive effect on alcohol consumption among the students surveyed. As hypothesized, students high in attention to social comparison information who believed other individuals on campus to be frequent and heavy users of alcohol reported the highest levels of drinking. The findings suggest that the assessment of students' susceptibility to peer influence may be one way to identify students who would benefit most from norm-corrective interventions. Programs that use norm-correction strategies, typically involving the presentation of more accurate information about other students' drinking, have produced encouraging results. 2 tables, 1 figure, and 43 references
Main Term(s): Underage Drinking
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse prevention; Alcoholism causes; Campus alcohol abuse; Peer influences on behavior
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