Article - post-print
Of the alcohol-related risks faced by college students, it is arguable that none presents a greater public health hazard than driving after drinking (DAD). The present study examined the extent to which students’ injunctive misperceptions toward DAD predicted the likelihood to engage in DAD and how this relation was mediated by self-approval of DAD. Participants were 2,848 college students (59.1% female, 64.6% Caucasian) from two U.S. West Coast universities who completed confidential web-based surveys assessing DAD beliefs and behaviors. Results revealed that respondents tended to overestimate their peers’ approval toward DAD. Moreover, the subgroups likely to engage in DAD—men, 21+ years of age, Greek affiliated students, Caucasians, students with a family history of alcohol abuse—were also more likely to misperceive (i.e., overestimate) their peers’ level of approval toward DAD. Using binary logistic regression analyses, self-approval of DAD emerged as an important statistical mediator in the relation between misperception of typical student approval toward DAD and engagement in DAD. Results point to the considerable role injunctive peer misperceptions may play in the pathways leading to drinking-driving risk. These findings provide preliminary support for DAD-specific social normative interventions, either complementing or supplementing existing alcohol interventions. By targeting high-risk student subgroups and communicating accurate drinking-driving norms, these proposed interventions have the potential to reduce self-approval and incidence of DAD.
This is an author-manuscript of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Health Communication following peer review. The version of record: Kenney, S. R., LaBrie, J. W., & Lac, A. (2013). Injunctive Peer Misperceptions and the Mediation of Self-Approval on Risk for Driving After Drinking Among College Students. Journal of Health Communication, 18(4), 459–477 is available online at: http://doi.org/10.1080/10810730.2012.727963.
Kenney, S. R., LaBrie, J. W., & Lac, A. (2013). Injunctive Peer Misperceptions and the Mediation of Self-Approval on Risk for Driving After Drinking Among College Students. Journal of Health Communication, 18(4), 459–477. http://doi.org/10.1080/10810730.2012.727963