The relationship of proximal normative beliefs and global subjective norms to college students' alcohol consumption

Jay Maddock, Karen Glanz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Heavy drinking among college students is a major concern across the country. Several studies have shown that students tend to overestimate the alcohol consumption of students, in general (global social norms), and of their close friends (proximal normative beliefs). Research has also shown that beliefs about others' alcohol consumption is strongly related to alcohol use. We hypothesized that normative beliefs about important referent individuals would mediate the relationship between campus social norms and alcohol consumption. Method: A survey of alcohol use and related variables was completed by 433 university students. Multiple regression was used to examine the mediational role of normative beliefs on social norms and alcohol consumption. Results: These analyses indicate that normative beliefs are a significant mediator of the relationship between social norms and alcohol consumption. Normative beliefs accounted for 52-62% of the proportion of variance mediated. Conclusions: Normative beliefs are an important construct in understanding the relationship between social norms and alcohol use among college students and may be an important area for future interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-323
Number of pages9
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2005

Keywords

  • Alcohol use
  • Normative perceptions
  • Social norms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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