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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 229332 Find in a Library
Title: Comparing Entering Freshmen's Perceptions of Campus Marijuana and Alcohol Use to Reported Use
Journal: Journal of Drug Education  Volume:39  Issue:2  Dated:2009  Pages:133-148
Author(s): Gregg J. Gold, Ph.D.; Alyssa T. Nguyen, M.A.
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study compared the reported use of marijuana and alcohol among 110 current college students with 481 entering freshmen's perceptions of campus norms for marijuana use as well as their own use.
Abstract: The county in which the college is located has a reputation for marijuana tolerance and use, so the study hypothesized that new freshmen would arrive on the campus expecting campus marijuana use to be greater than alcohol use. This hypothesis was supported, as new students surveyed before the start of classes did predict greater use of marijuana than alcohol; however, the freshmen greatly overestimated the amount of marijuana used as reported by current students. On the other hand, the freshmen were relatively accurate in estimating the norm for campus alcohol use. Although a relatively large percentage of incoming freshmen reported using marijuana, the statistically weak relationship between their use and expectation of campus use was not sufficient to explain their perceptions of the campus norm for marijuana use. There was no link between the freshmen's alcohol use and their expectations for campus alcohol use. The student impressions of campus norms regarding marijuana and alcohol use may have important lessons for other institutions. Entering students' misperceptions about the level of drug use on a campus is likely to be the student's norm for what is acceptable drug-using behavior; therefore, this study suggests that it is important for a college or university to conduct research in order to determine how the campus is viewed in terms of its acceptance or tolerance of various types of drug and/or alcohol use. Accurate information should then be provided prior to a freshman coming to the campus. 44 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile drug use
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Attitude measurement; Campus alcohol abuse; Marijuana
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