Article

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: 2.75). 06/2010; 24(2):177-89. DOI: 10.1037/a0018302
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

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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    • "(Danielsson et al., 2010)] that young adults who report higher descriptive norms of alcohol use are more likely to engage in heavy drinking themselves. Although cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between descriptive norms and heavy drinking have been found, associations between injunctive norms and heavy drinking are more limited and less consistent, possibly due to the subjective nature of injunctive norms (Lewis et al., 2010). Therefore, brief alcohol interventions utilize mainly descriptive norms instead of injunctive norms [e.g. "
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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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