Examining the associations among severity of injunctive drinking norms, alcohol consumption, and alcohol-related negative consequences: The moderating roles of alcohol consumption and identity

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
Psychology of Addictive Behaviors (Impact Factor: 2.09). 06/2010; 24(2):177-89. DOI: 10.1037/a0018302
Source: PubMed


This study examined a range of injunctive norms for alcohol use and related consequences from less severe behaviors (e.g., drinking with friends) to more severe behaviors (e.g., drinking enough alcohol to pass out), and their relationship with alcohol consumption and alcohol-related negative consequences among college students. In addition, this research aimed to determine whether these relationships between injunctive norms and consequences were moderated by alcohol consumption and level of identification with the typical same-gender college student. A random sample (N = 1,002) of undergraduates (56.9% women) completed a Web-based survey that was comprised of measures of drinking behavior, perceived approval of drinking behaviors that ranged in severity (i.e., injunctive norms), and level of identification with the typical same-gender college student. Results suggest that the association between negative consequences and injunctive drinking norms depend on one's own drinking behavior, identification with other students, and the severity of the alcohol use and related consequences for which injunctive norms are assessed. Findings are discussed in terms of false consensus and false uniqueness effects, and deviance regulation perspectives. Implications for preventive interventions are discussed.

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    • "First, our results may provide the strongest evidence for DRT in the alcohol field. Although previous studies have interpreted cross-sectional (Lewis et al., 2010) and prospective (Ferrer et al., 2012) alcohol norms data in terms of how they relate to DRT, the present study is the first experimental/intervention study to demonstrate a differential effect of positive versus negative framing in accordance with DRT. Thus, our study supports the development of a broader range of DRT-based alcohol interventions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Heavy alcohol use remains a consistent public health concern on college campuses. The current pilot study used deviance regulation theory (DRT) to modify protective behavioral strategies (PBS) among college student drinkers to reduce alcohol use and alcohol-related consequences. The sample was comprised of current college student drinkers (n = 76; 53.95% female) ranging in age from 18-24 (M = 19.29, SD = 1.42). Participants were randomly assigned to receive a positively or negatively framed message. They then reported on use of alcohol PBS (via the Protective Behavioral Strategies Scale), alcohol consumption (via the Modified Daily Drinking Questionnaire), and alcohol-related consequences (via the Young Adult Alcohol Consequences Questionnaire) each week for 6 weeks. Among drinkers with low PBS use norms, a positively, versus a negatively, framed message resulted in increased PBS use and consequently less alcohol consumption and fewer alcohol-related consequences. Among drinkers with high PBS use norms, a negatively, versus positively, framed message resulted in increased PBS use and consequently lower alcohol consumption and fewer alcohol-related consequences. However, these effects were only relevant among those who strongly believed the DRT frame. Findings suggest assigning drinkers to frames based on perceived PBS use norms and increasing belief in the frame may be 1 approach to increasing responsible drinking patterns among college students. Furthermore, the current data suggests important boundary conditions for norm-based interventions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 03/2015; 83(3). DOI:10.1037/a0038902 · 4.85 Impact Factor
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    • "Injunctive norms have also been linked to drinking behaviour (Lee et al., 2007) and negative alcohol-related consequences (LaBrie et al., 2010). However, their use within interventions is limited due to the subjective nature of injunctive norms (Lewis et al., 2010) which typically focus on alcohol related behaviours such as ''driving a car after drinking'' (LaBrie et al., 2010). More tangible injunctive norms need to be developed to further test and evaluate their use within social marketing. "
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    Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ) 08/2011; 19(3):196-202. DOI:10.1016/j.ausmj.2011.05.006
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    • "Three items from the House Acceptability Questionnaire (Larimer, 1992) assessed the acceptability of " becoming intoxicated at a party, " " missing class due to a hangover, " and " drinking during weekdays. " Three items from a recent comprehensive injunctive norms review (Lewis et al., 2010) assessed the acceptability of " drinking every day, " " drinking on the weekends, " and " drinking underage. " Each parent was fi rst asked to estimate the approval level of a typical parent of a student at the university. "
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    ABSTRACT: Parents often look to other parents for guidance, but how accurate are their perceptions? Expanding on existing normative literature to include parents of college students, this study first sought to determine whether parents accurately estimated the attitudes of other parents concerning their college student's alcohol-related behaviors. The effect of these (mis)perceived injunctive norms on the alcohol-related attitudes and behaviors of the parents' own children was then examined. Participants were 270 college student-parent dyadic pairs who completed independent online surveys. The student sample was 59% female; the parent sample was 78% female. A structural equation model demonstrated that parents significantly overestimated other parents' approval of alcohol use by their respective child and, further, that these misperceptions strongly influenced parental attitudes toward their own child's drinking. Parental attitudes were subsequently found to be significantly associated with their child's attitudes toward drinking but were only marginally associated with the child's actual drinking, thereby underscoring the mediational effect of the child's attitudes. This is the first study to document the influence of parental normative misperceptions regarding alcohol use by their college-age children, reinforcing the importance of parental attitudes on children's alcohol-related attitudes and behaviors in college. These findings support the need to complement student-based interventions with parent-based interventions aimed at increasing parental awareness and involvement. Further, the current findings indicate that normative interventions targeting parents offer a promising avenue by which to indirectly and positively influence college students' alcohol use.
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