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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Box 356560, Seattle, Washington 98195-6560, USA.
Journal of studies on alcohol 04/2006; 67(2):290-9. DOI: 10.15288/jsa.2006.67.290
Source: PubMed


Previous research has shown that students overestimate the drinking of their peers, and that perceived norms are strongly associated with drinking behavior. Explanations for these findings have been based largely on cross-sectional data, precluding the ability to evaluate the stability of normative misperceptions or to disentangle the direction of influence between perceived norms and drinking. The present research was designed to evaluate (1) the stability of normative misperceptions and (2) temporal precedence of perceived norms and drinking.
Participants were college students (N = 164; 94 women) who completed assessments of perceived norms and reported behavior for drinking frequency and weekly quantity. Most participants (68%) completed the same measures again two months later.
Results indicated large and stable overestimations of peer drinking for frequency and weekly quantity. Results also showed that for weekly quantity, perceived norms predicted later drinking, but drinking also predicted later perceived norms. Results for frequency revealed perceived norms predicted later drinking, but drinking did not predict later perceived norms.
These findings underscore the importance of longitudinal designs in evaluating normative influences on drinking. The present findings suggest that normative misperceptions are stable, at least over a relatively short time period. Findings support a mutual influence model of the relationship between perceived norms and drinking quantity but are more strongly associated with conformity explanations for the relationship between perceived norms and drinking frequency. Results are discussed in terms of implications for prevention interventions.

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    • "Participants' responses for each day of the week were summed to generate a typical weekly drinking variable. Previous research has established the Daily Drinking Questionnaire to have good concurrent validity and test–retest reliability (Marlatt et al., 1998; Neighbors et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Although the concepts of harmonious and obsessive passion have been productive in explaining why people eagerly engage in such activities as sports, Internet use, and gambling, previous research has not yet extended these models to explain alcohol and marijuana use among college students. The current research was conducted to clarify the relationships among harmonious and obsessive passion, alcohol and marijuana use, and negative consequences. Method: Two studies were conducted using online assessments. In Study 1, 748 heavy drinking college students (58% female) were recruited and completed measures of passion for drinking alcohol, alcohol use, and alcohol-related negative consequences. In Study 2, 352 regular marijuana-using students (54% female) were recruited and completed assessments of marijuana passion, marijuana use, and marijuana-related consequences. Results: Study 1 found that among heavy drinking college students, harmonious passion was a stronger predictor of increased consumption than was obsessive passion, whereas obsessive passion was a stronger predictor of alcohol-related problems than was harmonious passion. Study 2 revealed similar findings with regard to harmonious passion predicting marijuana consumption; however, unlike Study 1, no significant difference between the passions was found in predicting marijuana-related problems. Conclusions: This research provides a novel perspective on motivation for alcohol and marijuana use. Findings suggest that understanding the locus of young adults' passion for substance use may be helpful in identifying those who are likely to develop a substance use disorder and therefore may be the most in need of assistance and intervention.
    Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 09/2015; 76(5):749-757. DOI:10.15288/jsad.2015.76.749 · 2.76 Impact Factor
    • "In the face of mounting evidence that individual outcomes are affected by social phenomena that occur outside of one's egocentric network (e.g., see [59] [76] [113]), it is increasingly important that scholars attempt to develop a picture of the larger social network in which individuals are embedded. Scholars are also finding that alters' actual behaviors – for example, with respect to health-related behaviors such as risky sexual activity and substance use, or with respect to the supportiveness of network members – often differ from perceived behavior (e.g., see [13] [98] [108] [143]). Such findings suggest that some form of whole network data go a long way in predicting individual outcomes. "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper highlights the importance of the social networks perspective in social science research and describes the main approaches to measuring social networks and closely related phenomena - including social capital and kin networks - in existing household panel surveys. It then identifies cutting-edge techniques for collecting new data on social networks within the context of a household panel survey design. We focus in particular on possible extensions to traditional egocentric network data collection, the proper enumeration of kin networks and social support in unstable and complex families, measurement of communication via information and communication technology, and identification of the social network properties of social media participation.
    Journal of economic and social measurement 08/2015; 40(1-4):249-281. DOI:10.3233/JEM-150413
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    • "The analysis assumes that perceptions are the cause of behavior rather than behavior being the cause of perceptions. This assumption is supported by longitudinal studies in the field, although it has been noted that a degree of reciprocal causality is present (Neighbors et al., 2006). The students who have taken part in the study have been tracked from baseline to follow-up. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: The objective of this study was to explore perceptions of peer substance use and related attitudes among European students. Challenging perceptions about peer substance use has become the basis of a form of prevention and intervention known as the social norms approach, which can be delivered using personalized online feedback. This article reports baseline alcohol use and attitudes data for university students across Europe collected as part of the Social Norms Intervention for the prevention of Polydrug usE project (Project SNIPE). Method: Students from universities in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom were recruited to take part in an online survey by the use of email invitations, social media, classroom announcements, flyers, and stalls in social areas. A total of 4,482 students agreed to participate. Results: Overall, respondents reported both perceived alcohol use and perceived acceptance of alcohol use among their peers that were higher than their own use or acceptance. Perceived peers’ behaviors and attitudes were found to be predictive of personal behaviors and attitudes, with some variation across countries and by sex. Conclusions: The results suggest that students at the participating institutions across selected European countries exhibit overall similar patterns of perceptions as have been found on American college campuses. In conjunction with the finding that the perceived norm is predictive of personal behavior and attitudes, this research provides support to the view that the social norms approach may be a viable method to reduce alcohol consumption among students at European universities.
    Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 05/2015; 76(3):430-438. DOI:10.15288/jsad.2015.76.430 · 2.76 Impact Factor
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