Article - pre-print
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug among college students and has the potential for various negative outcomes. Perceptions of what constitutes typical approval/acceptability of a reference group (i.e. injunctive social norms) have been shown to have strong utility as predictors of health-risk behaviors in the college context, yet this construct remains significantly understudied for marijuana use despite its potential for use in social norms-based interventions. The current research evaluated individuals’ marijuana approval level and their perceptions of others’ marijuana approval level (i.e. injunctive norms) for various reference groups (typical student on campus, one’s close friends, one’s parents) as a function of individual user status (abstainers, experimenters, occasional users, regular users). A diverse sample of 3553 college students from two universities completed an online survey. Among all user status groups, individual approval yielded mean scores paralleling that of perceived close friends’ approval and all groups were relatively uniform in their perception of typical students’ approval. Higher levels of marijuana use tended to produce higher endorsements of individual approval, perceived close friends’ approval, and perceived parental approval. Among occasional and regular users, there were no differences between one’s own approval level for use and the perceptions of close friends’ approval, nor did they think the typical student was more approving than themselves. Abstainers and experimenters, however, perceived typical students and close friends to have more permissive attitudes than themselves. Implications and future directions for research regarding the role of injunctive marijuana use norms in the development of social norms intervention are discussed.
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., & Lac, A. (2011). Comparing injunctive marijuana use norms of salient reference groups among college student marijuana users and nonusers. Addictive Behaviors, 36(7), 717–720. is available online at: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2011.02.004.
LaBrie, J. W., Hummer, J. F., & Lac, A. (2011). Comparing injunctive marijuana use norms of salient reference groups among college student marijuana users and nonusers. Addictive Behaviors, 36(7), 717–720. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2011.02.004