Christine M Lee

University of Houston, Houston, TX, United States

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Publications (70)141.47 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Although recent studies have documented high-risk drinking occurring during Spring Break (SB), particularly on SB trips with friends, published intervention studies are few. In the present study, we evaluated the efficacy of event specific prevention strategies for reducing SB drinking among college students, compared to general prevention strategies and an assessment-only control group, as well as evaluated inclusion of peers in interventions and mode of intervention delivery (in-person vs. web). Method: Participants included 783 undergraduates (56.1% women; average age = 20.5 years) intending to go on a SB trip with friends as well as to drink heavily on at least 1 day of SB. Participants completed assessments prior to SB and were randomized to 1 of 5 intervention conditions: SB in-person Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS; Dimeff, Baer, Kivlahan, & Marlatt, 1999), SB web BASICS, SB in-person BASICS with friend, SB web BASICS with friend, general BASICS, or an attention control condition. Follow-up assessment was completed 1 week after SB. Results: Although the SB web BASICS (with and without friends) and general BASICS interventions were not effective at reducing SB drinking, results indicated significant intervention effects for SB in-person BASICS in reducing SB drinking, particularly on trip days. Follow-up analyses indicated that change in descriptive norms mediated treatment effect and reductions in drinking, whereas SB drinking intentions and positive expectancies did not. Conclusions: Overall, results suggest that an in-person SB-specific intervention is effective at reducing SB drinking, especially during trips. In contrast, interventions that contain non-SB-related content, are web-based, or seek to involve friends may be less effective at reducing SB drinking. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 02/2014; · 4.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Personalized normative feedback (PNF) interventions are generally effective at correcting normative misperceptions and reducing risky alcohol consumption among college students. However, research has yet to establish what level of reference group specificity is most efficacious in delivering PNF. This study compared the efficacy of a web-based PNF intervention using 8 increasingly specific reference groups against a Web-BASICS intervention and a repeated-assessment control in reducing risky drinking and associated consequences. Method: Participants were 1,663 heavy-drinking Caucasian and Asian undergraduates at 2 universities. The referent for web-based PNF was either the typical same-campus student or a same-campus student at 1 (either gender, race, or Greek affiliation), or a combination of 2 (e.g., gender and race), or all 3 levels of specificity (i.e., gender, race, and Greek affiliation). Hypotheses were tested using quasi-Poisson generalized linear models fit by generalized estimating equations. Results: The PNF intervention participants showed modest reductions in all 4 outcomes (average total drinks, peak drinking, drinking days, and drinking consequences) compared with control participants. No significant differences in drinking outcomes were found between the PNF group as a whole and the Web-BASICS group. Among the 8 PNF conditions, participants receiving typical student PNF demonstrated greater reductions in all 4 outcomes compared with those receiving PNF for more specific reference groups. Perceived drinking norms and discrepancies between individual behavior and actual norms mediated the efficacy of the intervention. Conclusions: Findings suggest a web-based PNF intervention using the typical student referent offers a parsimonious approach to reducing problematic alcohol use outcomes among college students. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 08/2013; · 4.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Self-medication has been theorized to explain comorbidity between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and drinking, whereupon problem drinking develops in order to modulate negative affect and ameliorate PTSD symptoms. Daily monitoring methodologies may help refine our understanding of proximal relations between PTSD, affect, and alcohol use. One hundred thirty-six female college drinkers with a past history of sexual victimization and 38 female college drinkers with no past trauma history completed electronic monitoring of PTSD symptoms, affect, alcohol use, and alcohol cravings, daily for 4 weeks. A two-part mixed hurdle model was used to examine likelihood of drinking and amount of alcohol consumed on drinking days. We found significant relationships between daily PTSD symptoms, affect, and drinking. On days women experienced more intrusive and behavioral avoidance symptoms of PTSD, they experienced stronger urges to drink and were more likely to drink on that day. On days in which women experienced more negative affect than their average, they experienced stronger urges to drink, whereas on days in which women experienced more of the dysphoric symptoms associated with PTSD than their average, they drank less. On days with higher positive affect, women reported stronger urges to drink and were more likely to drink. Results suggest the need to examine both aspects of affect and specific PTSD symptoms as they may differentially predict drinking behavior. Differences in the ways in which PTSD symptoms and affect influence drinking suggest that interventions more specifically address the function of drinking behaviors in reducing alcohol use among college women. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
    Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 08/2013; · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Marijuana is the most frequently reported illicit substance used on college campuses. Despite the prevalence, few published intervention studies have focused specifically on addressing high-risk marijuana use on college campuses. The present study evaluated the efficacy of an in-person brief motivational enhancement intervention for reducing marijuana use and related consequences among frequently using college students. Method: Participants included 212 college students from 2 campuses who reported frequent marijuana use (i.e., using marijuana at least 5 times in the past month). Participants completed Web-based screening and baseline assessments and upon completion of the baseline survey were randomized to either an in-person brief intervention or an assessment control group. Follow-up assessments were completed approximately 3 and 6 months post-baseline. Marijuana use was measured by number of days used in the past 30 days, typical number of joints used in a typical week in the last 60 days, and marijuana-related consequences. Results: Results indicated significant intervention effects on number of joints smoked in a typical week and a trend toward fewer marijuana-related consequences compared with the control group at 3-month follow-up. Conclusion: This study provides preliminary data on short-term effects of a focused marijuana intervention for college students at reducing marijuana use during the academic quarter. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 06/2013; · 4.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: This study extends previous examinations of social influences and marijuana use in considering how heavy marijuana users view themselves relative to their peers. We were specifically interested in evaluating whether (a) heavy-using marijuana users would identify more strongly with other users than with typical students, (b) identification with other marijuana users would be more strongly associated with own use, and (c) the association between perceived norms and marijuana use would be moderated by identification with peers. Method: Participants were 107 heavy (five or more times per month) marijuana users who completed an online survey assessing perceived norms for marijuana use, identification with typical students and other marijuana-using students, and marijuana use (frequency of use, joints per week, and hours high). Results: Participants unexpectedly identified more strongly with typical students rather than with other marijuana-using students. Identification with other marijuana users was, however, associated with more use. In addition, perceived norms were associated with more use but primarily among those who identified more with other users but not with typical students. Conclusions: Heavy marijuana users may be reluctant to identify themselves as users and may prefer to think of themselves as typical students. This may provide clinical opportunities to highlight discrepancies. In addition, identification with other users and lack of identification with typical students may be risk factors for heavier use and good indicators of candidacy for norms-based interventions. In sum, the present findings extend our understanding of the influence of social identity among young adult marijuana users and suggest novel directions for intervention strategies. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, 74, 479-483, 2013).
    Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 05/2013; 74(3):479-483. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to replicate and extend previous findings (Tollison et al., 2008) on the association between peer facilitator adherence to motivational interviewing (MI) microskills and college student drinking behavior. This study used a larger sample size, multiple follow-up time-points, and latent variable analyses allowing for more complex models to be tested in a sample with different characteristics than Tollison et al. Matriculating students who participated in high school sports (N=327) took part in a Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students led by peer facilitators trained in motivational interviewing (MI). Participants were assessed pre- and immediately postintervention on contemplation to change, as well as pre-, 5months, and 10months postintervention on drinking quantity. Independent coders used the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity scale (Moyers, Martin, Manuel, & Miller, 2003) to evaluate therapist MI adherence. Contrary to our previous study, results indicated that a higher number of open questions was positively related to increases in drinking, especially for heavier drinkers. Congruent with the previous study, more simple reflections was positively related to increases in drinking. Finally, this study revealed that heavier baseline drinking was associated with more simple reflections. There were no significant results found for changes in contemplation. Results corroborate previous findings that the excessive use of simple reflections may be indicative of countertherapeutic outcomes while raising questions about the relationship between the frequency of open questions and therapeutic outcomes.
    Behavior therapy 03/2013; 44(1):137-51. · 2.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the relationship between collective self-esteem (i.e., the value one places on being part of a collective group), acculturation, and alcohol-related consequences in a sample of 442 Asian American young adults. We found that membership self-esteem and public collective self-esteem interacted with acculturation such that low levels of both predicted greater rates of consequences. Participants with lower acculturation and greater private collective self-esteem experienced more alcohol consequences. This study suggests that differential aspects of collective self-esteem may serve as protective or risk factors for Asian American young adults depending on degree of acculturation.
    Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse 01/2013; 12(1):51-67.
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    Megan E. Patrick, Christine M. Lee, Clayton Neighbors
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate an adapted web-based multi-component personalized feedback intervention to reduce college student alcohol use and risky sexual behavior during Spring Break. This is one of the first interventions focused on Spring Break alcohol use and related sexual behavior. Personalized feedback intervention components addressed intentions, expected consequences, norms, motivations, protective behavioral strategies, and pacts with friends. Participants were college students (N = 263; 55% women) between the ages of 18 and 21 who planned to go on a Spring Break trip with their friends. Effects were not significant in reducing alcohol use or sexual behavior during Spring Break or some of the proposed intervention mechanisms. However, consistent results showed that the intervention succeeded in reducing perceived social norms for Spring Break drinking and sexual behavior. Findings suggest that changing norms alone is not sufficient for changing risk behavior during this event and alternative strategies are needed to impact other putative mediators.
    Addictive behaviors 01/2013; · 2.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Motives surrounding alcohol use behavior are important for understanding college student drinking. However, no previous research has addressed how motives for and against drinking during specific events associated with high-risk drinking, such as Spring Break, may differ from motives for and against drinking during the regular semester. Further, we examine the extent to which semester and Spring Break motives are associated with alcohol use, protective behavioral strategies (PBS), and consequences. Participants were college students (N=261; 55% women) who provided data both immediately prior to (Wave 1) and after (Wave 2) Spring Break. Fun/Social motives for drinking were greater for Spring Break, and Driving motives against drinking were lower for Spring Break, compared to semester drinking. Relax and Image motives for drinking and Physical/Behavioral motives for not drinking during Spring Break did not differ from semester motives. Spring Break motives for and against drinking were associated with total drinks, maximum drinks, PBS, and experienced negative consequences during Spring Break. Students' specific motives regarding drinking during Spring Break predict high-risk drinking and may be utilized in creating salient event-specific interventions.
    Addictive behaviors 11/2012; 38(4):1980-1987. · 2.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although drinking motives have been shown to influence drinking behavior among women with trauma histories and PTSD, no known research has examined the influence of drinking motives on alcohol use and alcohol-related consequences for women with PTSD as compared to women with a trauma history but no PTSD and women with no trauma history. Therefore, the present study sought to examine the associations between drinking motives women held for themselves as well as their perception of the drinking motives of others and their own alcohol use and consequences, and whether this was moderated by a history of trauma and/or PTSD. College women (N=827) were categorized as either having no trauma exposure (n=105), trauma exposure but no PTSD (n=580), or PTSD (n=142). Results of regression analyses revealed that women with trauma exposure and PTSD consume more alcohol and are at greatest risk of experiencing alcohol-related consequences. A diagnosis of PTSD moderated the association between one's own depression and anxiety coping and conformity drinking motives and alcohol-related consequences. PTSD also moderated the association between the perception of others' depression coping motives and one's own consequences. These findings highlight the importance of providing alternative coping strategies to women with PTSD to help reduce their alcohol use and consequences, and also suggest a possible role for the perceptions regarding the reasons other women drink alcohol and one's own drinking behavior that may have important clinical implications.
    Addictive behaviors 10/2012; 38(3):1831-1839. · 2.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: American students studying in foreign countries represent a unique group at risk for increased and problematic drinking. Examination of risk and protective factors for negative alcohol-related consequences can lead to the development of efficacious preventive interventions for reducing high-risk drinking while abroad. The present study examined the relationship between sojourner adjustment (i.e., the sociocultural and psychological adjustment of short-term residents in foreign environments), drinking motives, and alcohol-related consequences. Participants were 248 college students (81% women) who recently completed study-abroad trips and completed online surveys about their drinking motives and behavior, alcohol-related consequences, and sojourner adjustment. In general, positive sojourner adjustment (i.e., social interaction with host nationals, language development and use, and host culture identification) was protective against negative consequences, whereas negative sojourner adjustment (i.e., social interaction with co-nationals and homesickness/feeling out of place) was associated with increased reporting of consequences. Unexpectedly, the positive sojourner adjustment factor of cultural understanding and participation was associated with greater alcohol-related consequences. Social motives for drinking also predicted consequences. Drinking motives moderated several of the relationships between sojourner adjustment and consequences. Interest in and adoption of the host country culture may protect against problematic alcohol use; however, this may vary based on students' reasons for drinking. These findings support the need for further examination of sojourner adjustment in college students abroad and indicate potential areas for development of preventive interventions.
    Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 10/2012; 73(6):1005-15. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: While research has documented heavy drinking practices and associated negative consequences of college students turning 21, few studies have examined prevention efforts aimed at reducing high-risk drinking during 21st birthday celebrations. The present study evaluated the comparative efficacy of a general prevention effort (i.e., Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students, or BASICS) and event-specific prevention in reducing 21st birthday drinking and related negative consequences. Furthermore, this study evaluated inclusion of peers in interventions and mode of intervention delivery (i.e., in-person vs. via the Web). Method: Participants included 599 college students (46% male): men who intended to consume at least 5 drinks and women who intended to consume at least 4 drinks on their 21st birthday. After completing a screening/baseline assessment approximately 1 week before turning 21, participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 6 conditions: 21st birthday in-person BASICS, 21st birthday web BASICS, 21st birthday in-person BASICS plus friend intervention, 21st birthday web BASICS plus friend intervention, BASICS, or an attention control. A follow-up assessment was completed approximately 1 week after students' birthdays. Results: Results indicated a significant intervention effect for BASICS in reducing blood alcohol content reached and number of negative consequences experienced. All 3 in-person interventions reduced negative consequences experienced. Results for the web-based interventions varied by drinking outcome and whether a friend was included. Conclusions: Overall, results provide support for both general intervention and ESP approaches across modalities for reducing extreme drinking and negative consequences associated with turning 21. These results suggest there are several promising options for campuses seeking to reduce both use and negative consequences associated with 21st birthday celebrations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 07/2012; 80(5):850-62. · 4.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Social norms, at the most abstract level, represent society's expectations for appropriate behavior. For most individuals, behavior, attitudes, and self-esteem are heavily influenced by one's perceptions of others' opinions, expectations, and behaviors (Cialdini & Goldstein, 2004; Sherif, 1936). Individuals are not equally influenced by everyone, but rather are more influenced by those with whom they more closely identify (Festinger, 1954; Tajfel, 1982; Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher, & Wetherell, 1987) and whose opinions are of greater value to them (Latane, 1981). For example, previous research has shown that college student drinking is more strongly associated with perceived approval of friends relative to other students (Baer, Stacy, & Larimer, 1991). The present paper offers preliminary evidence for a hierarchical organization of normative social influences on 21st birthday drinking. In recent years, 21st birthday celebratory drinking has received increasing attention, due largely to the propagation of dangerous and sometimes fatal drinking traditions, such as attempting to drink one shot for each year of life, sometimes in a single hour (Hembroff, Atkin, Martell, McCue, & Greenamyer, 2007; Neighbors, Spieker, Oster-Aaland, Lewis, & Bergstrom, 2005; Rutledge, Park, & Sher, 2008). Intervention strategies designed to curb dangerous 21st birthday drinking have incorporated social norms components and have been met with varying degrees of success (Hembroff et al., 2007; Lewis, Neighbors, Lee, & Oster-Aaland, 2008; Neighbors, Lee, Lewis, Fossos, & Walter, 2009; Smith, Bogle, Talbott, Gant, & Castillo, 2006). A better understanding of the relative influence of social norms on 21st birthday drinking may offer practical suggestions for more effective interventions. According to this perspective, social networks and associated norms can be thought of as being hierarchically arranged, with smaller and more proximal networks existing within larger and more distal networks. According to this conceptualization, close friends can be thought of as a subset of the people with whom one is acquainted. One's acquaintances, in turn, can be thought of as a subset of members of the subpopulation with which one identifies. The subpopulation is, in turn, a subset of the global population. Although this admittedly is an oversimplified model, as there are likely to be many networks at each of multiple levels for any given individual, it offers unique concrete predictions regarding the relative influence of norms on personal behavior. Moreover, we propose that the influences of more distal norms on behavior are mediated by the influence of more proximal norms. That is, the influence of perceptions of societal beliefs regarding a particular behavior will be due, at least in part, to their association with more subpopulation norms, which will, in turn, be due in part to their association with more proximal norms. In the present paper, we provide preliminary evidence for the hierarchical influence of norms at varying levels of specificity by considering the influence of norms for 21st birthday drinking among college students at three levels (friends, other college students, and society). Descriptive Statistics and Correlations of 21st Birthday Perceptions and Behavior (N = 293) Participants were college students turning 21 years old at a large university in the Northwestern United States (N = 293; 58.0% female, 42.0% male; 67.5% Caucasian, 21.2% Asian/Pacific Islander, 2.4% African American, 2.4% Hispanic American, and 6.5% Other). The study took place over a 3½-month period. One week prior to their birthday, college students were asked to complete an online screening survey about their intentions regarding their upcoming 21st birthday celebration; the response rate was 48%. The study focused on assessing a web-based intervention designed to reduce risky drinking during 21st birthday celebrations (see Neighbors et al., 2009 for details). Eligible students were those who intended to engage in alcohol use during their birthdays (i.e., intending to consume at least two drinks during their birthday celebration) and were directed to the baseline survey immediately following the screening. The baseline survey included questions about their societal beliefs, their subpopulation-perceived norms of college students, and their proximal norms of friends' expectations for their own 21st birthday drinking, as described below. In addition, a follow-up survey (post-birthday) assessed actual behaviors during the participant's birthday week. Societal norms were...
    Journal of College Student Development 07/2012; 53(4):581-585. · 0.68 Impact Factor
  • Megan E Patrick, Christine M Lee
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    ABSTRACT: Given the known risks of alcohol use and sexual behavior for college students on Spring Break, this study was designed to document the behaviors and correlates associated with being on a Spring Break trip on a given day (controlling for average time on a trip). Participants were undergraduate students (n = 261; 55% women) who reported that they planned to go on a Spring Break trip. Web-based survey responses before and after Spring Break documented perceived norms, intentions, and actual behavior on each of the 10 days of Spring Break. Students who went on longer trips, who previously engaged in more heavy episodic drinking, or who had greater pre-Spring Break intentions to drink reported greater alcohol use during Spring Break. Similarly, students with greater pre-Spring Break intentions to have sex, greater perceived norms for sex, or more previous sexual partners had greater odds of having sex. On days students were on trips, they had a greater likelihood of having sex, drinking to higher estimated blood alcohol concentrations, consuming more drinks, and reporting perceived drunkenness than on nontrip days, especially if they had intentions to have sex and drink alcohol (and, for models predicting sexual behavior and drunkenness, had greater perceived norms for sex and drinking). Students who went on Spring Break trips engaged in more risk behaviors. In addition, the context of being on a trip on a given day was associated with increased risk, especially if they had stronger intentions and, in some cases, higher perceived norms. Further research is needed to describe the contexts of Spring Break trips and how to intervene effectively.
    Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 07/2012; 73(4):591-6. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A multidimensional measure assessing distinct motivations for and against sex was shown to be reliable, valid, and configurally invariant among incoming first-year college students. Three Motivations Against Sex Questionnaire subscales were developed to measure motivations against sexual behavior (Values, Health, Not Ready) to complement and extend a set of Sexual Motivations Scale-Revised subscales assessing motivations for sexual behavior (Intimacy, Enhancement, Coping). Participants were surveyed the summer prior to college (N = 1,653; 58.4% female). Exploratory factor analysis on a random one quarter of respondents supported the hypothesized factors. Multigroup confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated good overall fit to the data and configural invariance across gender and ethnicity and across lifetime sexual experience. Motivations were associated with lifetime oral and penetrative sexual behaviors. This combined measure may be used for identifying motivations, predicting behaviors, and tailoring motivational interventions for sexual health among adolescents and young adults.
    Assessment 12/2011; 18(4):502-16. · 2.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Victim alcohol consumption is common prior to sexual assault, and a burgeoning literature suggests that victims who were intoxicated during assault may differ in post-assault adjustment compared to those who were not impaired. Less is known about potential relationships between experiencing an alcohol-involved assault (AIA) and later drinking behavior. In this study, we examined the relationships between sexual assault, subsequent drinking behavior and consequences, and alcohol expectancies in a sample of 306 undergraduate women who reported current alcohol use and reported either no trauma history (n=53), non-AIA (n=69), or AIA (n=184). Differences emerged for alcohol use (F(2, 298)=12.78, p<.001), peak blood alcohol content (F(2, 298)=9.66, p<.001), consequences (F(2, 296)=7.38, p<.005), and positive alcohol expectancies (F(14, 796)=1.93, p<.05). In particular, women with an AIA reported greater alcohol use and positive expectancies compared to women with no trauma history and women with a non-alcohol influenced assault. In addition, both assault groups reported greater drinking consequences than women with no trauma history. Findings suggest that it is the women who are assaulted while under the influence of alcohol who evidence more alcohol use and alcohol-related problems following assault.
    Addictive behaviors 11/2011; 36(11):1076-82. · 2.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The literature on "Sojourner Adjustment," a term expanding on the acculturation concept to apply to groups residing temporarily in foreign environments, suggests that engagement, participation, and temporary integration into the host culture may contribute to less psychological and sociocultural difficulty while abroad. The present study was designed to establish a brief multi-component measure of Sojourner Adjustment (the Sojourner Adjustment Measure; SAM) to be used in work with populations residing temporarily in foreign environments (e.g., international students, foreign aid workers). Using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses on a sample of 248 American study abroad college students, we established a 24-item measure of Sojourner Adjustment composed of four positive factors (social interaction with host nationals, cultural understanding and participation, language development and use, host culture identification) and two negative factors (social interaction with co-nationals, homesickness/feeling out of place). Preliminary convergent validity was examined through correlations with established measures of acculturation. Further research with the SAM is encouraged to explore the relevance of this measure with other groups of sojourners (e.g., foreign aid workers, international businessmen, military personnel) and to determine how SAM factors relate to psychological well-being, health behaviors, and risk behaviors abroad among these diverse groups.
    International Journal of Intercultural Relations 11/2011; 35(6):881-889. · 1.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Perceived descriptive drinking norms often differ from actual norms and are positively related to personal consumption. However, it is not clear how normative perceptions vary with specificity of the reference group. Are drinking norms more accurate and more closely related to drinking behavior as reference group specificity increases? Do these relationships vary as a function of participant demographics? The present study examined the relationship between perceived descriptive norms and drinking behavior by ethnicity (Asian or White), sex, and fraternity/sorority status. Participants were 2,699 (58% female) White (75%) or Asian (25%) undergraduates from two universities who reported their own alcohol use and perceived descriptive norms for eight reference groups: "typical student"; same sex, ethnicity, or fraternity/sorority status; and all combinations of these three factors. Participants generally reported the highest perceived norms for the most distal reference group (typical student), with perceptions becoming more accurate as individuals' similarity to the reference group increased. Despite increased accuracy, participants perceived that all reference groups drank more than was actually the case. Across specific subgroups (fraternity/sorority members and men) different patterns emerged. Fraternity/sorority members reliably reported higher estimates of drinking for reference groups that included fraternity/ sorority status, and, to a lesser extent, men reported higher estimates for reference groups that included men. The results suggest that interventions targeting normative misperceptions may need to provide feedback based on participant demography or group membership. Although reference group-specific feedback may be important for some subgroups, typical student feedback provides the largest normative discrepancy for the majority of students.
    Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 09/2011; 72(5):833-43. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prior research has shown that normative perceptions of others' drinking behavior strongly relates to one's own drinking behavior. Most research examining the perceived drinking of others has generally focused on specificity of the normative referent (i.e., gender, ethnicity). The present study expands the research literature on social norms by examining normative perceptions by various drinking contexts. Specifically, this research aimed to determine if college students overestimate peer drinking by several drinking contexts (i.e., bar, fraternity/sorority party, non-fraternity/sorority party, sporting event) and to examine whether normative perceptions for drinking by contexts relate to one's own drinking behavior specific to these contexts. Students (N = 1,468; 56.4% female) participated in a web-based survey by completing measures assessing drinking behavior and perceived descriptive drinking norms for various contexts. Findings demonstrated that students consistently overestimated the drinking behavior for the typical same-sex student in various drinking contexts, with the most prominent being fraternity/sorority parties. In addition, results indicated that same-sex normative perceptions for drinking by contexts were associated with personal drinking behavior within these contexts. Results stress the importance of specificity of social norms beyond those related to the normative referent. Clinical implications are discussed in terms of preventions and intervention efforts as well as risks associated with drinking in a novel context.
    Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 09/2011; 72(5):844-53. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: College represents a period of risk for heavy drinking and experiencing unwanted consequences associated with drinking. Previous research has identified specific events, including holidays (e.g., New Years), school breaks (e.g., Spring Break) and personally relevant events (e.g., 21st birthdays), that are associated with elevated risk of heavy drinking and negative alcohol-related consequences. The systematic evaluation of relative risk offers insights into event-specific drinking and an empirical basis upon which to consider allocation of limited prevention resources. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to provide a comparative index of drinking across a wide range of holidays and compare holiday drinking to 21st birthday drinking. Participants were 1,124 students (55% female) who had turned 21 within the previous three weeks in 2008 and provided 90-day retrospective reports of their drinking using the Timeline Follow-back. Results based on a hurdle mixed model for blood alcohol content revealed several holidays that stand out for elevated drinking, including New Year's Eve and July 4th, whereas other holidays appear more similar to weekend drinking, such as Spring Break (approximately last week of March) and graduation (mid-June). Drinking on holidays or special days was substantially lower than drinking on 21st birthdays. Results are discussed in terms of practical applications for targeted intervention efforts on college campuses toward specific events where elevated drinking is known to occur.
    Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 05/2011; 25(4):702-7. · 2.09 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
141.47 Total Impact Points


  • 2010–2013
    • University of Houston
      • Department of Psychology
      Houston, TX, United States
    • Loyola Marymount University
      • Department of Psychology
      Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 2006–2013
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
      • • Department of Psychology
      Seattle, Washington, United States
  • 2009–2012
    • University of Michigan
      • Institute for Social Research
      Ann Arbor, MI, United States
  • 2011
    • The University of Arizona
      • School of Family & Consumer Sciences
      Tucson, Arizona, United States
    • George Washington University
      • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2008
    • Pennsylvania State University
      • Prevention Research Center
      University Park, MD, United States
    • The University of Memphis
      • Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Research
      Memphis, TN, United States
  • 2006–2008
    • Evergreen State College
      Olympia, Washington, United States
  • 2007
    • State University of New York
      New York City, New York, United States