Article - pre-print
Harm reduction approaches may benefit from research extending the exploration of predictors of alcohol use per se to those components most directly related to alcohol-related harm. This investigation evaluated the relationship between perceived injunctive norms of alcohol use (level of approval of drinking behaviors in specific situations) and the experience of alcohol-related consequences as a function of typical student reference groups at increasing levels of similarity to the respondent: based on race, gender, Greek status, and combinations of these dimensions, as well as parents, close friends, and the students' own attitudes. Participants were 3753 students (61% female) from two campuses who completed an online survey. Preliminary analyses determined that there were no differences in the relationship between perceived injunctive norms and consequences across the eight student groups of varying specificity, thus all eight levels were combined into one variable of perceived student injunctive norms. However, the relationship between this variable and consequences was weaker than the perceived attitudes of more proximal referents (parents, close friends, as well as their own personal attitudes). Subsequent analyses predicting consequences while controlling for demographic variables and drinking level, revealed that perceived injunctive norms for students, parents, and close friends as well as personal attitudes each significantly predicted consequences. Results suggest an important role for perceived injunctive norms in the experiencing of consequences over and above the amount of consumption and point to types of injunctive norms feedback that might form effective interventions (i.e., incorporating close friend and parent feedback as well as general student feedback).
This is an author-manuscript of an article accepted for publication in Addictive Behaviors following peer review. The version of record: LaBrie, J. W., Hummer, J. F., Neighbors, C., & Larimer, M. E. (2010). Whose Opinion Matters? The Relationship Between Injunctive Norms and Alcohol Consequences in College Students. Addictive Behaviors, 35(4), 343–349 is available online at: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2009.12.003.
LaBrie, J. W., Hummer, J. F., Neighbors, C., & Larimer, M. E. (2010). Whose Opinion Matters? The Relationship Between Injunctive Norms and Alcohol Consequences in College Students. Addictive Behaviors, 35(4), 343–349. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2009.12.003