Social-norms interventions for light and nondrinking students


Social-norms approaches to alcohol prevention are based on consistent findings that most students overestimate the prevalence of drinking among their peers. Most interventions have been developed for heavy-drinking students, and the applicability of social-norms approaches among abstaining or light-drinking students has yet to be evaluated. The present research aimed to evaluate the impact of two types of online social-norms interventions developed for abstaining or light-drinking students. Identification with other students was evaluated as a moderator. Participants included 423 freshmen and sophomore college students who reported never or rarely drinking at screening. Students were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (a) personalized-norms feedback, (b) social-norms marketing ads, or (c) attention control. Data were analyzed using generalized linear mixed models. Results provided some support for both interventions but were stronger for social-norms marketing ads, particularly among participants who identified more closely with other students.



Social norms, Social identity, Feedback, Abstainers, Alcohol


Copyright 2011 Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. This is a post-print version of a published paper that is available at: Recommended citation: Neighbors, Clayton, Megan Jensen, Judy Tidwell, Theresa Walter, Nicole Fossos, and Melissa A. Lewis. "Social-Norms Interventions for Light and Nondrinking Students." Group Processes and Intergroup Relations 14, no. 5 (2011): 651-669. doi: 10.1177/1368430210398014. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.