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Articles by Year - 2010

Buettner, C.K., Bartle-Haring, S., Andrews, D.W. & Khurana, A. (2010). Perceptions of Alcohol Policy and Drinking Behavior: Results of a Latent Class Analysis of College Student Drinkers. Addictive Behaviors, 35(6): 628-631.
go to summary

Carey, K. B., Henson, J.M., Carey, M.P., and Maisto, S.A.  (2010).  Perceived norms mediate effects of brief motivational intervention for sanctioned college drinkers.  Clinical Psychology:  Science and Practice, 17, (1), 58-71. go to summary

Franca, L. R.; Dautzenberg, B.; and Reynaud, M.  (2010).   Heavy episodic drinking and alcohol consumption in French colleges:  The role of perceived social norms.  Alcoholism:  Clinical and Experimental Research, 34 (1), 164-174. go to summary 

Göckeritz, S., Schultz, P. W., Rendón, T., Cialdini, R. B., Goldstein, N. J., & Griskevicius, V. (2010). Descriptive normative beliefs and conservation behavior: The moderating roles of personal involvement and injunctive normative beliefs. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40(3), 514-523. doi:10.1002/ejsp.643
go to summary

Gryczynski, J.; and Ward, B. W.  (2011).  Social norms and the relationship between cigarette use and religiosity among adolescents in the United States. Health Education and Behavior, 38 (1), 39-48. go to summary

LaBrie, J. W.; Hummer, J. F., Neighbors, C., and Larimer, M.E.  (2010).   Whose opinion matters?  The relationship between injunctive norms an alcohol consequences in college students.  Addictive Behaviors, 35 (2), 343-349. go to summary

Lee, C. M., Patrick, M., Neighbors, C.; Lewis, M.; Tollison, S.J. and Larimer, M.E.  (2010).   Exploring the role of positive and negative consequences in understanding perceptions and evaluations of individual drinking.  Addictive Behaviors, 35, 764-770. go to summary

Neighbors, C.; Labrie, J.W.; Hummer, J. F.; Lewis, M.A.; Lee, C. M., Sruti, D, Kilmer, J.R. Larimer, M.E.   (2010).   Group identification as a moderator of the relationship between perceived social norms and alcohol consumption Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24, (3) 522-528.
go to summary

Neighbors, C.; Lewis, M.A.; Atkins, D.C., Jensen, M.M.; Walter, T.; Fossos, N.; Lee, C.M.; Larimer, M.E.  (2010). Efficacy of web-based personalized normative feedback:  a two-year randomized controlled trial.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78, 6, 898–911
go to summary

Pedersen, E. R., Larimer, M. E., & Lee, C. M. (2010). When in Rome: Factors associated with changes in drinking behavior among American college students studying abroad. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24(3), 535-540. doi:10.1037/a0019863
go to summary

Perkins, H. W., Linkenbach, J. W., Lewis, M. A., & Neighbors, C.  (2010).
Effectiveness of social norms media marketing in reducing drinking and driving: A statewide campaign.  Addictive Behaviors, 35 (10), 866-874. go to summary

Perkins, J.M.; Perkins, H. W.; and Craig, D.W. (2010).   Misperceptions of peer norms as a risk factor for sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among secondary-school students.  Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 110 (12), 1916-1921. go to summary

Primmer, E. and Karpinnen, H. (2010).  Professional judgment in non-industrial private forestry:  Forester attitudes and social norms influencing biodiversity conservation.  Forest Policy and Economics, 12 (2), 136-146.  go to summary

Prince, M. A. and Carey, K. B.   (2010). The malleability of injunctive norms among college students.  Addictive Behaviors, 35 (1), 940-947. go to summary

Thrasher, J. F.; Perez-Hernandez, R.; Swayampakala, K; Arillo-Santillan, E.; and Bottai, M.  (2010).   Policy support, norms, and secondhand smoke exposure before and after implementation of a comprehensive smoke-free law in Mexico City.   American Journal of Public Health, 100, (9), 1789 – 1798. go to summary

Traxler, C.  (2010). Social norms and conditional cooperative taxpayers.  European Journal of Political Economy, 26 (1), 89-103.  go to summary

Vinci, D.M.; Philen, R.C.; Walch, S.E.; Kennedy, R.; Harrell, M.; Rime, C.; and Matthews, J.  (2010).   Social norms tactics to promote a campus alcohol coalition.  American Journal of Health Education, 41 (1), 29-37. go to summary

Zhang, X., Cowling, D. W., & Tang, H. (2010). The impact of social norm change strategies on smokers’ quitting behaviors.  Tobacco Control, 19 (Supplement 1), 51-55. go to summary


Buettner, C.K., Bartle-Haring, S., Andrews, D.W. & Khurana, A. (2010). Perceptions of Alcohol Policy and Drinking Behavior: Results of a Latent Class Analysis of College Student Drinkers. Addictive Behaviors, 35(6): 628-631. return to list

Objective:
The purpose of this study was to extend the limited research on college student support for alcohol control policies by using a latent class analysis to examine the shared characteristics of drinking students who support or oppose such policies.

Method:
We used data from a sample of 2393 students drawn from a larger study on high risk drinking at a mid-western university. Data was collected between October 2005 and May 2007. We conducted a latent class analysis to identify sub-groups of drinking students based on relevant variables.

Results:
The results of the latent class analysis yielded a model which could correctly classify 90% of the students taking the survey into one of four “classes” based upon their response to four items on the questionnaire.

Conclusions:
Interventions would benefit from approaches that target both student perceptions and specific policies that are most conducive to student support and engagement.

Implications for the field:
This study suggests that universal prevention efforts designed to persuade students to understand and support efforts to reduce high risk drinking may be too broadly distributed and inefficient in that the majority of students express verbal support of the policies, and those are supportive of these policies are generally not at risk. With finite and limited resources, institutions should be using more economically efficient and potentially more effective targeted approaches geared towards changing the perception and behavior of those students who think that the policies are too strict.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2839029/

Carey, K. B., Henson, J.M., Carey, M.P., and Maisto, S.A.  (2010).  Perceived norms mediate effects of brief motivational intervention for sanctioned college drinkers.  Clinical Psychology:  Science and Practice, 17, (1), 58-71. return to list 

Objective:
The purpose of this research was to identify mediators of changes in behavior due to interventions and to assess their effectiveness.

Method:
The researchers performed a secondary analysis of a randomized trial of brief motivational interventions (BMIs) for 198 college students sanctioned for alcohol related violations of school policies.  Their first objective was to assess the role of variables representing motivation to change as mediators of the BMI effect.   Their second objective was to evaluate the role of perceived descriptive and injunctive norms as mediators of the BMI effect.  Baseline measures covered the month prior to the event.  Participants were randomly chosen to receive either a brief motivational intervention or a computerized intervention.  The brief motivation intervention, or BMI, consisted of a semi-structured session in which the participant was provided with personalized feedback based on an initial alcohol use assessment.  Feedback consisted of risky behaviors as the result of alcohol use, local and national consumption norms, and perceptions of peer drinking behaviors.  The computerized intervention consisted of an interactive program, Alcohol 101 Plus, which allowed students to participate in social decision-making simulations regarding alcohol use.  At a minimum, students spent at least an hour using the program.  Follow-up assessments were conducted one month after the interventions.

Results:
Findings indicated that changes in descriptive drinking norms, as a result of the interventions, either partially or fully mediated the effect of the BMI compared to the use of the computerized intervention.  Further analysis revealed that students who received the BMI intervention acquired or retained more information concerning national norms than those who used the computerized approach.  In addition, the BMI was more effective in changing the female participants’ understanding of descriptive norms.  The use of the BMI intervention was more successful for male participants for changing perceptions regarding alcohol consumption of local and national male peers.  For both male and female students, a change in the perceived drinking habits of friends was the most robust predictor of drinking reduction.

Conclusion:
This study extends the literature on the meditational role of norms by measuring injunctive norms.

Implications for the Field:

This study will help to identify the important and effective aspects of multi-component intervention strategies.

Franca, L. R.; Dautzenberg, B.; and Reynaud, M.  (2010).   Heavy episodic drinking and alcohol consumption in French colleges:  The role of perceived social norms.  Alcoholism:  Clinical and Experimental Research, 34 (1), 164-174. return to list 

Objective:
To determine the effect of normative perceptions on heavy episodic drinking (HED) in other cultural contexts.  To test whether associations observed in the United States between misperceptions of alcohol use and drinking behavior exist in another cultural context are similar.

Method:
A cross sectional survey was conducted consisting of 731 second-year university students from various schools in metropolitan Paris.  Thirteen page questionnaires were completed anonymously.  Seventy-nine percent of the respondents were female (females represent a much greater percentage of the university student population in France).  The quantity of alcohol usually drunk in a month and the monthly occurrences of HED were measured.  HED was defined as having 5 or more drinks on 1 occasion.  Monthly alcohol consumption was also assessed.
The researchers modeled separately the probability of engaging in HED and the frequency of HED episodes among students who reported at least 1 HED episode in the month.  Potential predictors for HED and alcohol consumption (the independent variables) were measured.  Later, normative perceptions (the dependent variable) were then measured.   A multiple logistic regression model was used to determine the probability of the incidence of HED.

Results:
Fifty-six percent of the students overestimate the prevalence of peer student HED while 20% of the students correctly perceive it and 23% underestimate it.   In addition, 37% of the students overestimated the prevalence of alcohol use among peer students while 19% correctly perceived it and 44% underestimated it.  Other social norms associated with HED are perceived friends’ approval of HED and perceived friend prevalence of alcohol drinking.

Conclusion:
Overestimation of peer student prevalence of drinking is not uncommon in French university students.  Perceived peer student prevalence of HED is linked to HED frequency.  Interventions which correct misperceived prevalence of HED have the potential to reduce the frequency of HED for French university students.

Implications for the Field:
Social norms theory approaches to reduce the incidence of HED can be used successfully in other cultural contexts.  The findings in this study replicate North American results for similar experiments.

Göckeritz, S., Schultz, P. W., Rendón, T., Cialdini, R. B., Goldstein, N. J., & Griskevicius, V. (2010). Descriptive normative beliefs and conservation behavior: The moderating roles of personal involvement and injunctive normative beliefs. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40(3), 514-523. doi:10.1002/ejsp.643 return to list

Objective:
To test the hypothesis that personal involvement with conservation issues and beliefs about other’s approval of conservation (injunctive normative beliefs) would moderate the relationship between descriptive normative beliefs and conservation behavior.

Method:
Random digit dialing was used to sample 1604 California Residents. Descriptive normative beliefs were measured similar to Nolan et al. (2008): How often do you think your neighbors try to conserve energy? How often do you think residents of your city try to conserve energy? How often do you think California residents try to conserve energy? How often do you think your friends try to conserve energy? Responses were measured on a four-point scale, from 1 (never) to 4 (almost always). The four items were averaged to create scale scores. Personal involvement was measured using a four-item scale: How often do you think about energy conservation? How big of an issue is energy conservation in your life? How much do you care about energy conservation? How knowledgeable are you about energy conservation? Responses were measured on a four-point scale, from 1 (not at all) to 4 (extremely). Self-reported conservation behavior was measured on a four-point scale using one item: How often do you try to conserve energy? Injunctive normative beliefs were measured using the following three questions: How much do you think your neighbors approve of people who try to conserve energy? How much do you think residents of your city approve of people who try to conserve energy? How much do you think California residents approve of people who try to conserve energy? Participants rated these questions on a scale from 1 (not at all) to 4 (extremely).

Results:
Results showed that both injunctive normative beliefs and personal involvement moderated the relationship between descriptive normative beliefs and conservation behavior. High personal involvement weakened the relationship, whereas high injunctive normative beliefs strengthened it. Interestingly, descriptive and injunctive normative beliefs were only modestly correlated (r¼.45).

Conclusions:
The authors conclude from these findings that descriptive normative beliefs influence conservation behavior through a rather nonconscious, peripheral route of information
processing, while personal involvement motivates a more elaborate, central route of information processing.

Implications for the field:
Analyses revealed that high injunctive normative beliefs can strengthen the impact of descriptive normative beliefs on behavior. The highest behavior rates were shown for high descriptive and high injunctive norms. Believing that other people engage in a highly approved behavior therefore increases the likelihood of engaging in that behavior. These findings are consistent with prior research on aligning normative information which has shown that combined normative messages which include both descriptive and injunctive normative information have a higher impact on behavior than messages only including one of these norms (Cialdini et al., 2006; Schultz, Khazian, & Zaleski, 2008). Additionally, this work suggests that inconsistency in normative beliefs reduces the pressure to conform. It is when the descriptive (others do it) and injunctive (others approve of doing it) norms are aligned that norms are particularly influential.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejsp.643/abstract

Gryczynski, J.; and Ward, B. W.  (2011).  Social norms and the relationship between cigarette use and religiosity among adolescents in the United States.    Health Education and Behavior, 38 (1), 39-48. return to list 

Objective:
The purpose of the study was to investigate the social dynamics that underlie the negative association between religiosity and cigarette use among U.S. adolescents.

Method:
Using the Vicarious Learning Networks model (VLN), which stems from social learning theory and refers to how an individual can learn without direct reinforcement by observing the behaviors of others and the consequences they face for it, the researchers tested eight separate hypotheses regarding whether
perceived disapproval for smoking among those in an adolescent’s important reference groups would mediate the relationship between religiosity and cigarette use. A VLN perspective suggests that adolescents with higher levels of religiosity would be discouraged from smoking cigarettes through the behaviors, norms, and attitudes of proximate network members such as their parents and close
friends.  Specifically, the researchers hypothesized that perceived disapproval of smoking from parents and close friends would influence the effect of frequent attendance of religious services and internalization of religious beliefs that, in turn, influence decision making on ever trying a cigarette and current cigarette use.  Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which is a national survey conducted on an annual basis (n=14,695), were analyzed to determine if there is a relationship between religiosity and cigarette use among adolescents aged 12 – 17 in the United States.  The dependent variables were lifetime cigarette use (whether a respondent reported ever smoking a cigarette) and current cigarette use (self-reported past 30 day use of cigarettes).  The independent variables were frequency of religious service attendance and internalization of beliefs reflected in decision making which were both measured through survey responsesTo measure the latter, respondents were asked whether they agreed with the statement “Your religious beliefs influence how you make decisions in your life.”   Mediation analysis tests, which measures whether the mediator variable carries the effect of an independent variable onto a dependent variable, were conducted using a combination of the Sobel test and the causal steps approach.

Results:
Results indicated that there was some partial mediation for all of the hypotheses. For both lifetime and past 30 day cigarette use, perceived disapproval produced a significant indirect effect (p < .001) in each model examined.  In addition, when controlling for a number of explanatory variables the evidence of partial mediation in more elaborate models was consistent for the majority of the hypotheses, with the exception that perceived disapproval of smoking from close friends did not mediate the relationship between religious service attendance and either lifetime or past 30 day cigarette use.

Conclusion:
The researchers found evidence that perceived disapproval of smoking from parents and close friends partially mediates the relationship between cigarette use and religiosity. Tests for simple mediation models indicated support for all eight hypothesized indirect paths, with six of these relationships confirmed via the causal steps approach in models controlling for the other mediator and an array of covariates. Therefore, it appears that the injunctive norms of those closest to an adolescent may be a mechanism through which some of the effects of religiosity on cigarette use are manifested. However, in all cases, the evidence pointed to partial rather than complete mediation, indicating that perceived norms of parents and close friends are but one component of the relationship.
Religiosity retained a strong negative association with cigarette use even when controlling for injunctive norms and a host of other explanatory variables.

Implications for the Field:
These findings hold a number of implications for the design of smoking prevention and other behavioral health interventions for adolescents. The VLN model may be a useful tool in the promotion of health behavior.  For example, the VLN model could have applications for early risk identification, whereby prevention and early intervention efforts could be targeted toward those who report low perceived disapproval of risk behavior from important reference groups. If part of the relationship between religiosity and cigarette use can indeed be attributed to the social contexts and relationships that are structured
and reinforced via shared religious belief systems, then public health approaches should focus on strengthening those normative elements that promote smoking prevention. This could potentially be accomplished in religion-specific or entirely secular ways. Smoking prevention programs that partner with faith-based organizations in some capacity may consider reinforcing perceptions of healthy norms among social network members as an intervention component. Irrespective of religiosity, our findings demonstrate that social norms exert the strongest protective associations with adolescent lifetime and current cigarette use when the normative orientations of key reference groups in the social network are consistent.  Future research should elaborate further on the intricacies of the religiosity–health behavior relationship, focusing on the pathways by which protective effects are exerted and translating appropriate elements into intervention design.

LaBrie, J. W.; Hummer, J. F., Neighbors, C., and Larimer, M.E.  (2010).   Whose opinion matters?  The relationship between injunctive norms an alcohol consequences in college students.  Addictive Behaviors, 35 (2), 343-349. return to list

Objective:
Because very few studies have examined injunctive norms in isolation, the researchers wanted to highlight the importance of injunctive norms and discover if there was a significant link between perceived injunctive norms and alcohol problems by college students.  In essence, the researchers wanted to ascertain how perceptions about others’ attitudes about risky drinking behaviors are directly related to the increased level of harmful alcohol-related consequences experienced by individuals beyond what is the result of alcohol use alone.

Method:
To determine whether there was a link, the researchers first evaluated the injunctive norms of 3,753 college students from two campuses who were randomly selected.  The participants, primarily female (61%) completed an online survey.  The distribution of the respondents’ class standing was roughly equal.  Next, the injunctive norms of the participants were assessed in relation to various reference groups which included other students, parents, close friends, and themselves for a total of ten separate groups.  Later, alcohol consequences (the dependent variable) were determined through the use of the Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index (RAPI).  Twenty-five negative consequences, as a result of drinking, were assessed over a three month period.  Finally, the degree of alcohol use by the respondents was measured through utilization of the Daily Drinking Questionnaire (DDQ).  Responses were summed to assess how many drinks per week were consumed.  Descriptive analysis of the data was conducted as well as logistic regressions. 

Results:
Preliminary analysis of the survey results indicated that there were no differences in the relationship between perceived injunctive norms and consequences across the ten separate groups enabling the researchers to combine all of the variables into one variable of perceived student injunctive norms.  Parental approval and close friends appear to be the most important reference groups for predicting alcohol-related problems, although close friends is the most influential group

Conclusion:
Helps to determine what types of future interventions may be most effective at reducing alcohol problems.  An examination of injunctive norms when developing intervention approaches may enhance prevention efforts especially if the injunctive norms are those of the student groups that recipients care most about.

Implications for the Field:
This research is important because it has broadened the focus beyond Greek-affiliated student groups.  Results suggest an important role for perceived injunctive norms in reducing the negative consequences of alcohol and the importance of taking into account the perceived injunctive norms of important reference groups when developing intervention programs. 

Lee, C. M., Patrick, M., Neighbors, C.; Lewis, M.; Tollison, S.J. and Larimer, M.E.  (2010).   Exploring the role of positive and negative consequences in understanding perceptions and evaluations of individual drinking.  Addictive Behaviors, 35, 764-770. return to list

Objective:
The purpose of this study was to investigate both the positive and negative consequences of alcohol use in an effort to understand how college students use these experiences to reach an overall evaluation of the drinking event utilizing a daily diary design.  The way individuals distill their experience of consequences, both good and bad, into overall evaluations of the drinking experience may provide valuable information for developing college student prevention and intervention programs.  This study focused on evaluating positive and negative consequences simultaneously to understand the influence these consequences had on overall evaluations of individual drinking events.

Method:
Utilizing the unique design of daily diaries, between-person (i.e., gender and average drinking) and within-person differences (i.e., number of drinks and drinking context) were used to describe variability in drinking consequences and to explore the relationship between alcohol use and positive and negative consequences.  The study also examined between- and within-person predictors of overall evaluations, including five salient domains of consequences (i.e., Positive Fun/Social, Positive Image Enhancement, Positive Relaxation, Negative Personal, and Negative Social) to see which were more influential in the formation of overall evaluation of individual drinking events.  Finally, the study also explored whether consequences mediated the relationship between alcohol use and overall evaluations of a drinking occasion.
Participants for the study were undergraduate psychology students. The final sample of 200 students averaged 18.9 years, 41% lived on campus, 61% were female, and 64.6% self identified as white non-Hispanic, 24.5% Asian, and 10.9% other ethnicities. The majority (69%) were freshmen.  On the first day of participation, students completed a baseline survey lasting approximately 45 minutes. On each of the next 29 days, students received a daily email with a link to complete a web diary of their mood, alcohol use, consequences, and activities. These daily assessments lasted approximately 5–10 minutes. Three students never began the study (i.e., did not complete baseline). Among the remaining 197, 92% of the targeted days were completed (5,620 of 6,107 possible). Most students (69%) completed all 31 days (including baseline, 29 daily reports, and 1 post daily report) and 81% completed 29 or more total days.
Nineteen students reported not drinking alcohol during the 29 day daily
assessment period and 12 participants had missing data on the Level 2 predictors; these students were excluded from the current analyses. The final sample included 166 students. Analyses were also restricted to drinking days (n=868) because of a focus on consequences of alcohol use and overall evaluation of the drinking occasion.  For participants who reported all Level 2 variables, there were a total of 848 person drinking days to be included in the multilevel analyses.

Each day, students were asked to answer the question, “How many
standard drinks did you have yesterday?” Students were informed
that a standard drink was equivalent to 12 oz. of beer (8 oz. of Canadian beer, malt liquor, and ice beers or 10 oz. of microbrew), 10 oz. of wine cooler, 4 oz. of wine, or one cocktail with 1 oz. of 100 proof liquor or 1 ¼ oz. of 80 proof liquor.  Students who reported drinking alcohol the previous day were asked whether they had experienced each of 26 positive consequences as a result of drinking alcohol the previous day. Positive and negative items were presented together in random order.  Finally, students were asked to, “Think about the entire drinking experience you had yesterday. Taking into account all the good and bad things that were associated with yesterday's drinking experience, how would you rate the overall drinking experience?”  The Response format was: −2=Bad, −1=Slightly Bad, 0=Neutral, 1=Slightly Good, and 2=Good.
Multi-level models estimated between- and within-person variation
using hierarchical linear modeling software to analyze the results.

Results:
Between-person predictors of this rating indicated that women rated their drinking experiences more positively than did men and students who drank more
across days tended to rate their drinking experiences as more positive
than students who drank less. Students who experienced fewer Negative Personal and fewer Negative Social drinking consequences, on average, across days tended to evaluate their drinking experiences as more positive than students who experienced more negative drinking consequences. In addition, students who reported more Positive Image consequences across days rated their drinking experiences more positively overall.  Overall evaluations were also predicted with daily within-person (Level 1) variables. Within-person, consuming more drinks on a given day predicted a more positive overall experience of the drinking occasion. Experiencing more Negative Personal and Negative Social consequences on a given day was related to more negative evaluations of those daily drinking occasions. Daily experiencing Positive Fun/Social, Positive Image, and Positive Relaxation consequences was associated with more positive evaluations of those drinking days.  In addition, comparisons of coefficients revealed that Negative Social consequences had the strongest unique association with overall evaluations and was a significantly stronger predictor than all other consequences, with the exception of Positive Fun/Social consequences.

Conclusion:
The present research demonstrated that drinking was associated with increased likelihood of all five alcohol-related consequences domains (Negative Social, Negative Personal, Positive Fun/Social,Positive Image, and Positive Relaxation) on those drinking days.  On average, participants with higher average drinking reported increased likelihood of having more Positive Fun/Social consequences.

Implications for the Field:
Understanding the relative explanatory power of experienced positive and negative consequences, and how they are combined to evaluate a drinking event will provide information for intervention programs specifically
designed to help students re-evaluate the consequences of their alcohol use.

Neighbors, C.; Labrie, J.W.; Hummer, J. F.; Lewis, M.A.; Lee, C. M., Sruti, D, Kilmer, J.R. Larimer, M.E.   (2010).   Group identification as a moderator of the relationship between perceived social norms and alcohol consumption Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24, (3) 522-528. return to list

Objective:
The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether group identification moderates the association between perceived drinking norms in the group and one’s own drinking.  It was conducted in an effort to extend previous research which examined the moderating influence of group identification among varying reference groups on participants’ campuses.  The reference groups were typical student, typical student of the same sex, typical student of the same race, and typical student of the same Greek affiliation.  The researchers hypothesized that perceived drinking norms of each reference group would be more strongly associated with participants’ own drinking as identification with the specific group increased. 

Method:
The researchers surveyed a random sample of 7,000 students from both a public and a private university of which 3, 752 students (61% female) agreed to participate.  Each participant completed 20-minute online assessment of their perceived drinking norms for four reference groups of students on their campus.  The survey was conducted in the Fall of 2007.  The researchers measured the daily alcohol consumption of the participants and their perceived drinking norms for each of the reference groups on their campuses.  Also, the researchers measured each participant’s identification with all four reference groups.  Descriptive statistics were obtained and a series of generalized linear models were created to evaluate whether drinking varied as a function of identification, perceived norms, and the interaction between identification and perceived norms for each of the four reference groups. 

Results:
In general, the hypothesis was supported except for the category of typical student.  The results of the study indicated that greater identification with same sex students, same race students, and same Greek-status students was associated with stronger relationships between perceived drinking norms in the specific groups and the participant’s own drinking.  For the typical student reference group, the identification and perceived norms were positively correlated with higher levels of drinking even though the interaction between identification and perceived norms was not significant.  For the typical same sex student reference group, the study revealed that men drank significantly more (83%) than women and that perceived norms were positively correlated with higher levels of drinking.  That is, the relationship between perceived drinking norms for same-sex students and participants’ own drinking was stronger when participants endorsed greater identification with members of their same sex on campus.  For the typical same race student on campus, five race categories were identified.  The results indicated that there were overall differences in drinking among the race categories and that identification and perceived norms for same race students were both positively associated with drinking.  Results also indicated that there was a significant interaction in terms of how close participants felt to other members of their race on campus.  Finally, for same Greek status on campus, results indicated that identification and perceived norms were each positively associated with drinking and the interaction between identification and perceived norms was again significant.  As with same sex and same race, the association between perceived norms for same Greek-status students and drinking were stronger among students who felt closer to others who shared their status with respect to membership in a Greek organization.

Conclusion:
The findings of this study suggest that the more students identified
with other groups  the stronger the relationship was between perceived norms and actual drinking behavior.  The only exception to this was the typical student category.   Therefore, the researchers suggest that identification is more relevant when groups are more specifically defined.  The researchers warned, however, that although the overall hypothesis was supported, the effect sizes for the interactions suggest that the influence of group identification on the association between perceived norms and drinking is relatively weak, at least for the groups evaluated.

Implications for the Field:
The researchers indicated that knowledge about how reference groups affect perception of drinking behavior can help with intervention efforts.  That is, changing perceived descriptive norms is a relatively effective intervention strategy in reducing drinking.  In addition, future studies are needed to evaluate the impact of greater specificity of the referent group in interventions targeting social drinking norms.

Neighbors, C.; Lewis, M.A.; Atkins, D.C., Jensen, M.M.; Walter, T.; Fossos, N.; Lee, C.M.; Larimer, M.E.  (2010). Efficacy of web-based personalized normative feedback:  a two-year randomized controlled trial.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78, 6, 898–911
return to list

Objective:
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of gender-specific versus gender-nonspecific personalized normative feedback (PNF) with single versus biannual administration in a 2-year randomized controlled trial which targeted a large sample of heavy-drinking college students. The researchers
expected that gender-specific PNF would be more effective than both
gender-nonspecific PNF and attention control at reducing perceived
drinking and self-reported drinking behavior.   The researchers also expected
that biannual delivery of gender-specific PNF would result in the largest reductions in perceived drinking and self-reported drinking and that changes in perceived drinking for gender-specific and gender-nonspecific peers would mediate intervention effects.

Method:
Participants included 818 freshmen (57.6% women; 42% non-Caucasian) who reported one or more heavy-drinking episodes in the previous month at baseline. Participants were randomly assigned and the researchers used a 2 (gender-specific vs. gender-nonspecific PNF)  X 2 (single vs. biannual administration of PNF)  X 1 (attention control) design.  Participants were randomly assigned to (a) attention control (no PNF); (b) single exposure to PNF following the baseline assessment; and (c) biannual exposure of PNF delivered following baseline and after the 6-, 12-, and 18-month assessments. Participants receiving feedback were also randomly assigned to receive either (a) gender-specific or (b)
gender-nonspecific normative feedback.  Assessments occurred every 6 months for a 2-year period.

Results:
Results from hierarchical generalized linear models provided modest effects on weekly drinking and alcohol-related problems but not on heavy episodic drinking. Relative to control, gender-specific biannual PNF was associated with reductions over time in weekly drinking, and this effect was partially mediated by changes in perceived norms. For women, but not men, gender-specific biannual PNF was associated with reductions over time in alcohol-related problems relative to control. Few other effects were evident.

Conclusion:
The present research provides modest support for the use of biannually administered web-based gender-specific PNF as an alternative to more costly
indicated prevention strategies.  In summary, despite limitations, this research provides a substantial contribution to the existing literature. To date, it is among
the largest and longest evaluations of a randomized trial of a web-based intervention for college student drinking. Results provide modest support for the use of web-based PNF, provided it is gender-specific and biannually administered. Moreover, web-based interventions are likely to be less effective than in-person interventions, but these relatively smaller effects may be offset by
the potential to reach large numbers of individuals at relatively low cost.

Implications for the Field:
Web-based, gender-specific Personalized Normative Feedback (PNF) approaches may be a better alternative to the other types of alcohol interventions.

Pedersen, E. R., Larimer, M. E., & Lee, C. M. (2010). When in Rome: Factors associated with changes in drinking behavior among American college students studying abroad. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24(3), 535-540. doi:10.1037/a0019863
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Objective: To empirically examine alcohol use by study abroad students before, during, and after return home from overseas trips. In addition, we looked at the factors associated with changes in drinking while abroad; specifically, region of study, U.S. legal drinking age status, intentions to drink while abroad, and perceptions of other study abroad student drinking.

Method: The study used a longitudinal design to examine the factors associated with changes in alcohol use among college students studying in foreign countries. A sample of 177students completed measures of demographics, drinking behavior, and perceived peer drinking behavior 1 month before departure and 1-month post return from study abroad trips.

Results: Analyses revealed that participants more than doubled their drinking during study abroad trips and those who drank at heavier levels while abroad returned home drinking at significantly elevated levels. This pattern of increased use while abroad was moderated by several factors, with participants studying abroad in Europe (e.g., Italy, France) and Oceania (e.g., Australia, New Zealand), those under the age of 21, those with higher intentions of drinking while abroad, and those with higher drinking perceptions of other study abroad students in their host country increased their alcohol consumption to a greater extent than other participants.

Conclusion:  This study empirically supports the concerns of study abroad experts and confirms recent news reports (Epstein, 2005; Epstein & Rhodes, 2000; Poggioli, 2008; Vogt, 2009) that drinking among college students studying in foreign countries dramatically increases during study abroad trips with several demographic and pre-departure factors moderating these changes in drinking over time.

Implications for the Field: Results suggest drinking while abroad is a concern warranting further investigation, especially regarding how changes in drinking may contribute to the experience of alcohol-related consequences abroad. Continued identification of the risk factors associated with increased drinking can help inform targeted pre departure preventive interventions with these students.

Accessible at: http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/adb/24/3/535.pdf

Perkins, H. W., Linkenbach, J. W., Lewis, M. A., & Neighbors, C.  (2010).
Effectiveness of social norms media marketing in reducing drinking and driving: A statewide campaign.  Addictive Behaviors, 35 (10), 866-874. return to list

Objective:
The purpose of this study was to determine whether a high-intensity social norms media-marketing campaign, aimed at a non-college population of drivers between the ages of 21 to 34 year olds in Montana, was effective in reducing the incidence of driving under the influence as a result of correcting misperceptions.   According to the authors, to date, this study is the most comprehensive, large scale social norms marketing campaign to be rigorously tested in a non-college setting.  Because most of the literature on this topic involves college populations, another purpose of the researchers was to ascertain if the approach is viable in terms of the general population.

Method
Using a quasi-experimental design, the researches divided the state intro three separate regions which closely approximated the eastern, central, and western counties of the state.  The western region was comprised of 15 counties and was designated as the experimental group, which received the treatment.  The central region was designated as the buffer, and was not targeted to receive the social norms campaign.  These buffer counties were either contiguous or in close proximity to the treatment counties.  The eastern region was designated as the control group, and did not receive the treatment.   Because of the buffer region, citizens in the eastern region, or control group, were not likely to receive any of the media campaign messages.  Phone surveys were then conducted four times, over an 18 month period, to assess the outcome.  Respondents were randomly chosen.  The first three surveys had a minimum of 1, 000 respondents while the fourth and final survey had only 517, which was the result of cost constraints.  The four surveys were conducted prior to the treatment, during the treatment, immediately at the end of the treatment, and 3 months after the treatment.
The intervention strategy consisted of the seven-step Montana Model of social norms marketing.  The campaign ads contained information that the majority of Montana drivers, in the population studied, practice protective behaviors and do not drive under the influence.  For example, advertisements indicated that 4 out of 5 Montana residents, in the age group studied, do not drink and drive.  The media campaign lasted for 15 months. 
In an effort to measure whether the exposure to the new information was effective, respondents were asked whether they recalled seeing or hearing any of the advertisements.  Also, perceived normative behavior and actual behavior were both assessed during the survey. 

Results
Data from the intervention region was contrasted with data from the control region to assess any change in behavior.  The buffer region was excluded.  The results of the study indicate that the social norms marketing campaign was successful in the counties that received the campaign messages.  That is, it reduced misperceptions, decreased the incidence of driving under the influence in these counties, and increased the use of designated drivers. 
With reported driving after drinking decreasing in the intervention counties by 2% and increasing in the control counties by almost 12%, there was an overall significant relative decrease in the intervention counties compared to the control counties.  Finally, the difference between the effectiveness of the exposure between the control region and the treatment region was highly significant.

Conclusion
The results display the importance of exposing the treatment population to the social norms approach.  Risky drinking behavior can be mitigated if the social norms intervention is successfully implemented.

Implications for the Field
The results of the study suggest that non-college populations can also be influenced through the use of a targeted social norms media-marketing campaign.   That is, other behaviors related to public health can be influenced using this approach.   In addition, this study indicates that the social norms approach can only be effective if the targeted messages reach the intended audience.  Therefore, the amount of exposure to the new messages has to be evaluated to measure effectiveness.

Perkins, J.M.; Perkins, H. W.; and Craig, D.W. (2010).   Misperceptions of peer norms as a risk factor for sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among secondary-school students.  Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 110 (12), 1916-1921.  return to list

Objective:
To determine the extent of misperception concerning peer sugar-sweetened consumption norms among secondary students and to ascertain if there is a link between excess calories intake because of these misperceptions and weight gain.

Method:
The researchers surveyed students in 8 schools in the Western part of the United States using an anonymous survey of student health and social behaviors and included questions about sugar-sweetened beverage consumption.  The survey was conducted from November, 2008 to May, 2009 and had a study population of (N=4,679) which included students enrolled in grades 6 to 12.  The overall response rate was 84%.  The analyses focused on student norms within local school grades which were defined as peer groups.  Students were asked to estimate, on average, how many sweet drinks (“such as soda, pop, soft drinks, flavored drinks, energy drinks, or sweet tea”) per day they personally consumed and how many sweet drinks per day they thought were most typical for other students to consume in their grade at their school. Students were instructed: “One drink would equal a 12-ounce can, bottle, or glass.  Actual peer sugar-sweetened beverage consumption norms within each school grade group of students were estimated by calculating the median and mean self-reported sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. The researchers then utilized t tests to assess differences in the means of self-reported sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and the differences in the means of perceived sugar-sweetened beverage consumption peer norms between socio-demographic categories. Students' misperceptions of peer sugar-sweetened beverage consumption were determined by subtracting the median of self-reported sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in a student's school grade group from the student's perception of the sugar-sweetened beverage consumption norm in his or her same group. Medians of self-reports were used to represent actual sugar-sweetened beverage consumption norms per group for this measure.

Regression analyses were also conducted to determine the independent predictive capabilities of the perceived sugar-sweetened beverage consumption norm, the estimated actual norm, and other student characteristics on personal sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. A fixed-effect model was used, including school indicator variables, to account for any variation in personal sugar-sweetened beverage consumption that might be due to differences between schools instead of a random intercept model due to the small number of schools.

Results:
The distribution of self-reported sugar-sweetened beverage consumption per day was as follows:  28% of students did not consume any sugar-sweetened drinks, 36% consumed one drink, 18% consumed two, 8% consumed three, 4% consumed four, 2% consumed five, 1% consumed six, and 3% reported consuming seven or more.  However, students estimated that their peers consumed 2.64 sugar-sweetened beverages per day with the average perceived norm ranging from 2.48 to 3.04 across socio-demographic subgroups. Overweight students had substantially higher means for self-reported sugar-sweetened beverage consumption compared with the healthy weight group.

The measure of misperception comparing perceptions of the sugar-sweetened beverage consumption norm with the median of self-reported consumption for one's peer school grade group revealed that while less than 3% underestimated the peer norm, and only 21% demonstrated accurate perceptions, 76% overestimated the typical amount of daily sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among their peers. Misperceptions were very similar at all eight schools regardless of school size and grade level.

Linear regression analyses predicting self-reported sugar-sweetened beverage consumption demonstrated the overwhelming predictive power of the perceived peer sugar-sweetened beverage consumption norm in comparison with all other independent variables above the actual norm. Therefore, based on the regression results, students who overestimate the peer sugar-sweetened beverage consumption norm by three beverages may have an associated 1.8 beverage higher personal consumption per day as compared with accurate perceivers of the norm. If each 12-oz sweet beverage consumed is associated with an 0.08 difference in BMI as other research suggests, then a student who overestimates the peer sugar-sweetened beverage consumption norm by at least three beverages may not only exhibit notably higher personal consumption, but may also exhibit increases in BMI over time.

Conclusion:
When perceptions of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption norms are higher than actual consumption it may encourage more personal sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, which can lead to an unhealthy weight.  On the other hand, more accurate perceptions may encourage less consumption of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption.  This study demonstrated that there are pervasive misperceptions, in terms of overestimations, about sugar-sweetened beverage consumption norms and found a very strong relationship between the perceived peer sugar-sweetened beverage consumption norm and self-reported sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. These findings suggest that greater overestimation of the typical amount of peer sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in one's grade may contribute to unhealthy sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and help perpetuate overweight status. 

Implications for the Field:
These findings suggest that implementing intervention strategies to reduce misperceptions of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption norms may be beneficial.  To reduce consumption of these beverages, health professionals should consider how information about real norms could be used in normative feedback interventions to give students a more realistic view of peer sugar-sweetened beverage consumption norms.  In addition, more research is needed on what may create such pervasive misperceptions of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption.  Also, misperceived sugar-sweetened beverage consumption norms should be given more research attention as a public health issue.

Primmer, E. and Karpinnen, H. (2010).  Professional judgment in non-industrial private forestry:  Forester attitudes and social norms influencing biodiversity conservation.  Forest Policy and Economics, 12 (2), 136-146. return to list

Objective:
The purpose of this research is to test whether the social norms of foresters in Finland, regarding the intentions to conserve habitats beyond what is required by law, has an effect on the planning of forestry operations by voluntarily exceeding the minimum conservation requirements.  The researchers focus on the foresters’ beliefs about conservation and the social normative context and perceived autonomy of the forestry profession through an application of the theory of planned behavior.  

Method:
A random sample (n = 312) of Finnish foresters, who were responsible for developing conservation management plans in non-industrial private forests, were surveyed to determine the incidence of exceeding the minimum conservation requirements.  A questionnaire was initially sent to 563 planners and 312 replied for a response-rate of 58 percent.  First, using a seven-point scale, ranging from “Unlikely” to “Likely”, respondents were asked to indicate their intention to surpass the minimum conservation requirements.  Next, general attitudes, beliefs, subjective norms, and normative beliefs and motivation to comply regarding conservation efforts were assessed.  The assessment was conducted through an analysis of responses to questions designed to measure these attributes of respondents. Finally, logistic regression analysis techniques were used to analyze the data.  

Results:
The results of this study indicated that 74 percent of respondents planned on defining conservation habitats.  In addition, the general attitude towards defining program initiatives regarding conservation was overwhelmingly positive, i.e. more than 70 percent.  The results also showed that social norms have a strong influence on intentions to exceed program requirements and that normative beliefs about conservation are highly influenced by peers in the forestry profession.  Also, analysis of the data revealed that perceptions about the expectations of other forestry professionals influenced subjective norms. Respondents also revealed that, in terms of their behavioral control regarding the development of conservation programs, they regarded themselves as being independent.  In many instances, respondents believed other professional foresters expected them to define program initiatives beyond the minimum conservation requirements.

Conclusion:
Social norm perspectives can affect policies regarding how natural resource management and conservation efforts are implemented. 

Implications for the Field:
According to the authors, the theory of planned behavior had not yet been applied to professional foresters’ decision-making behavior prior to this study.
In addition, the results of this study show how social norms can influence environmental protection efforts.  Understanding the normative foundations of forestry professionals can contribute to the understanding and development of new conservation policies and programs.

Prince, M. A. and Carey, K. B.   (2010). The malleability of injunctive norms among college students.  Addictive Behaviors, 35 (1), 940-947. return to list 

Objective:
To determine if both injunctive and descriptive norms about drinking alcohol can be changed using information-based feedback and to explore differences in the malleability of norms across referent groups.

Method:
A survey of 265 students was conducted.  Half of these respondents, who were randomly selected, were provided with a page of information-based feedback about typical student injunctive norms.  Drinking norms baselines were assessed both before the intervention (baseline) and after (follow-up).

Results:
The manipulation resulted in a change in beliefs concerning injunctive and descriptive norms about typical students’ drinking behavior.  However, it did not result in changes in these norms for close friends.  Despite differences in injunctive norms regarding gender, this did not moderate the manipulation effect.  Other major results are:

1)  Beliefs held by college students about how peers approved of heavy alcohol use and its consequences differed for those who received brief injunctive norms-based feedback compared to those who did not.

2)  The effect of the injunctive norms feedback generalized to estimates of descriptive norms for student peers.  Informational feedback that alerted students to the risk of overestimating peer approval for excessive drinking not only reduced estimated peer approval ratings but also reduced estimates of peer drinking. 

3)  The brief injunctive norms feedback had no effect on the injunctive and descriptive norms held by college students about their close friends.

Conclusion:
Perceptions of peer approval of drinking are malleable with a very brief information-based manipulation.

Implications for the Field:
Better and more effective norms-based interventions can be developed when injunctive norms are manipulated using information-based feedback.

Thrasher, J. F.; Perez-Hernandez, R.; Swayampakala, K; Arillo-Santillan, E.; and Bottai, M.  (2010).   Policy support, norms, and secondhand smoke exposure before and after implementation of a comprehensive smoke-free law in Mexico City.   American Journal of Public Health, 100, (9), 1789 – 1798. return to list 

Objective:
To determine whether a social norms marketing campaign, developed and administered by the Mexico City Ministry of Health, that supports recent smoke-free legislation to reduce smoking in public places was effective.   This was accomplished by assessing attitudes and beliefs about smoke-free laws, compliance with the new law, and exposure to second-hand smoke.  In addition, the researchers wanted to increase the understanding of media campaigns that address social norms in general.

Method:
Campaign materials that increased the knowledge of the dangers of second-hand smoke and increased perceptions of positive outcomes associated with smoke-free environments as well as support for compliance with recent smoke-free legislation were disseminated throughout Mexico City via television and radio ads and billboards.  These materials consisted of information regarding the toxicity of cigarette smoke, the right to breathe smoke-free air, and the health benefits that would result from doing so. These concepts were reinforced with slogans such as “Let's enjoy fresh air in enclosed places, without tobacco smoke” and “Because we all breathe the same air.”  The campaign aired from September to December, 2008.   Three representative surveys of Mexico City inhabitants were conducted to determine the effectiveness of the campaign. The researchers relied on a multistage sampling procedure.  Surveys were done a month before the campaign went into effect (n = 800), 4 months after implementation (n = 961), and 8 months after implementation (n = 786). Eighty-two percent of the respondents from the second survey were re-interviewed.  The overall response rate was 62.2%, with a cooperation rate of 75.5%.  The researchers used t tests, odds ratios, and ordinal regression techniques to analyze the data.

Results:
Survey results indicated that the majority of Mexico City inhabitants support smoke-free policies, with the exception of smoke-free bars.  Support increased for workplaces and for the perceived health benefits of smoke-free places.     Social unacceptability of smoking increased substantially.  Secondhand smoke exposure declined overall as well as in venues covered by the law. The researchers also reported that the recall rate, in terms of any of the 5 campaign materials, was 69% for all respondents. 

Conclusion:
Comprehensive smoke-free legislation has been relatively successful in Mexico City and helps to reinforce and increase beliefs and norms that support these policiesChanges in perception and behavior are consistent with findings from similar studies conducted in high-income countries.

Implications for the Field:
The use of social norms marketing campaigns can be effective is promoting compliance with smoke-free legislation in low-income countries as well as high-income countries.                                            

Traxler, C.  (2010). Social norms and conditional cooperative taxpayers.  European Journal of Political Economy, 26 (1), 89-103. return to list

Objective:
The purpose of this paper is to develop a model to examine incentives related to tax morale.  According to the researchers, evidence shows that, in general, a taxpayer’s tendency to cheat on their taxes is influenced by how a taxpayer perceives the behavior of their fellow citizens regarding tax compliance.  If a taxpayer perceives that others cheat on their taxes, then they will be more likely to evade taxes by concealing income.  Tax compliance decisions become dependent on one’s perception of social norms.   

Method:
The researchers argue that the influence of subgroups within society can result in different levels of tax compliance.  Therefore, in an effort to isolate the effect that these subgroups can have on the social norms of tax compliance, the authors have developed a model for the optimal evasion decision that includes the existence of various levels of social norm compliance in different groups within a heterogeneous society.  They use the Allingham and Sandmo (1972) model of income tax evasion as the theoretical framework for their analysis.  The researchers assert that different group social norms, regarding tax compliance, can have spillover effects that influence other group’s social norms in this regard.  Their analytical approach is to first analyze the tax compliance implications in a homogenous society.  Next, they use the same theoretical perspective and apply it to a heterogeneous society to create a contrast and analyze the differences. 

Results:
Because of the between group effect, the authors argue that tax policies designed to ensure tax compliance should take into account a taxpayer’s motivation to pay their taxes.

Conclusion:
In order to create policies that encourage tax compliance, policymakers have to be aware of the potential influence that the social norms for tax compliance of particular subgroups, especially those perceived to be moral leaders, can have on compliance rates.  This is especially important because the empirical evidence indicates that tax compliance norms within groups can be dependent on the perceived tax compliance behavior of other groups.  That is, tax compliance behavior can be interdependent. 

Implications for the Field:
The authors state that their analysis is new in that it is the first time that social norms for tax compliance have been shown to be affected between groups and to highlight the importance of tax compliance norms for subgroups deemed to be influential.  For example, if tax enforcement policies for one subgroup is lessened and results in more tax evasion, this could create externalities which influence the tax compliance norms of other subgroups within a society.  This especially true for the subgroup perceived to be the moral reference group for a society because its social norms for tax compliance can influence the social norms for tax compliance for the entire population.  Therefore, the level of adherence to tax laws by the ‘morale leaders’ within a society is important to take into consideration because of its potential to affect tax compliance across all groups.

Vinci, D.M.; Philen, R.C.; Walch, S.E.; Kennedy, R.; Harrell, M.; Rime, C.; and Matthews, J.  (2010).   Social norms tactics to promote a campus alcohol coalition.  American Journal of Health Education, 41 (1), 29-37.  return to list 

Objective:
To determine what are the most effective media channels to promote
recognition of the existence of CACs (Campus Alcohol Coalitions) on campus and also to ascertain if the amount of time exposed to social norms campaign materials influenced students’ recognition of a CAC on campus.  According to the authors, this type of research is important because there are limited data concerning the most effective promotional materials to use in a social norms marketing campaign.

Method:
The researchers relied on a quasi-experimental, time-series survey design conducted at a southeastern public university.  A sample of 838 campus residents completed intercept interviews across four time phases to determine the effectiveness of campaign materials.  The social norms campaign was launched in the fall semester, 2006 and involved 21 residence hall buildings that housed approximately 1,490 students.  Each residency unit was randomly assigned to one of three interventions groups.  Each of these groups differed in the length of exposure to the social norms campaign.  For example, some students were exposed to a 14 week social norms campaign while other students were exposed to either a 10 week or a 2 week timeframe.  Campaign exposure included placement of social norms campaign posters in strategic locations which were selected by the residence housing administration.  The total number of posters in each residence hall depended on the size of the building.  In addition, educational brochures and promotional products were distributed. 
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Results:
Results indicated that an increase in student awareness of the university’s CAC was achieved by using a social norms campaign.  Specifically, the use of posters and flyers increased the students’ awareness of the CAC from 25% to 77% and remained high across all phases of the campaign.  Other incentive promotional products and educational brochures, that included the CAC logo and contact information, were not identified as a significant source for the awareness of the university’s CAC.

Conclusion:
Because social norms campaigns often operate with limited budgets, it is important to identify cost-saving measures regarding implementation.  Students’ awareness of the existence of a CAC on their campus can be effectively promoted via a social norms campaign, and especially through posters.  The authors also stated that, in their experience, costs associated with the development and printing of educational brochures and the purchase of incentive promotional materials were 3.5 times and 4.6 times greater, respectively, than the cost of developing and printing of posters.  Posters, therefore, were the most economical and effective way of conveying the existence of a CAC on campus.

Implications for the Field:
It is important to determine the most cost-effective approach in implementing alcohol prevention strategies that use a social norms marketing campaign. 

Zhang, X., Cowling, D. W., & Tang, H.  (2010). The impact of social norm change strategies on smokers’ quitting behaviors.  Tobacco Control, 19 (Supplement 1), 51-55. return to list

Objective:
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the intensity of the relationship of social norms concepts to key smoking behaviors that reflect the California Tobacco Control Program’s (CTCP) priorities, which was the first tobacco control program to utilize a ‘social norms change’ approach, and determine whether these constructs result in an increase in quitting behaviors and a reduction in overall tobacco use.

Method
Using the CTCP’s priority areas, the researchers developed social norm
constructs. These social norm constructs were compared to quitting behaviors
and tobacco prevention efforts using logistic regression analysis techniques. The
social norms constructs were derived from the results of the California Adult
Tobacco Survey and were comprised of knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about
tobacco. The constructs included:  1) SHS – secondhand smoke, 2) Availability
of tobacco, 3) CPTI – countering pro tobacco influences in the community, and 4)
Tobacco products regulation. The researchers utilized 10 years of survey
data (1997 – 2007) to test the effectiveness of this approach by measuring social
norm change during these years. 

Results
There was a positive correlation between high scores for the second-hand smoke (SHS) and countering pro-tobacco influences (CPTI) constructs with quitting behaviors.  Regression results indicated that the secondhand smoke (SHS) and countering pro-tobacco influences'(CPTI) constructs followed a dose-response curve with quitting behaviors. Respondents who rated high on the SHS construct were about 70% more likely to have made a recent quit attempt in the last 12 months and about 100% more likely to intend to quit in the next 6 months than respondents who rated low on the SHS construct. For CPTI, respondents who rated high on this construct were 67% more likely to have made a recent quit attempt in the last 12 months and 62% more likely to have intentions to quit in the next 6 months than respondents who rated low on the CPTI construct.  Smokers with more positive attitudes towards CPTI and SHS reported more quit attempts and intentions.  However, the SHS construct always had the highest scores while CPTI had the lowest scores over the ten year period. 

Conclusion
The results of this study display the importance of the ‘social norm change’ approach to quitting behaviors and tobacco prevention.  The CTCP's priorities are strongly related to desired individual behavior outcomes. This analysis provides strong support for the framework underlying the CTCP’s approach, that changing social norms affects behavior change at the individual level through changing population-level smoking-related behaviors.

Implications for the Field
The results of the study suggest that changing social norms can influence behavior change regarding smokers’ quitting attempts.  In essence, the results of this study validate the ‘social norms change’ approach utilized by the CTCP.
In addition, the study also showed how latent beliefs and attitudes can have a significant effect on smokers’ intentions to quit.