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School-based social norming: alcohol consumption

Health Factors: Alcohol & Drug Use
Decision Makers: Educators
Evidence Rating: Mixed Evidence
Population Reach: 10-19% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: No impact on disparities likely

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Description

Social norming campaigns provide objective, normative information in order to reduce misperceptions and, ultimately, change behavior (CG-Motor vehicle injury). Campaigns can be implemented in a variety of settings and through a variety of means, including: mail, online, face-to-face, and mass media approaches (Cochrane-Moreiria 2009).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Reduced excessive drinking

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is mixed evidence about the effects of school-based social norming campaigns on alcohol misuse among university, college, and high school students. Effectiveness varies with the way the intervention is delivered; some types of campaigns have been shown to reduce harmful alcohol consumption, especially in the short-term, and others have no effect, positive or negative, on participants’ drinking behavior (Champion 2013, Cochrane-Moreiria 2009).

Social norming campaigns delivered via web with computer feedback and individual face-to-face interventions can reduce alcohol-related problems and quantity of consumption, and positively affect drinking norms. Effects of these campaigns are strongest in the first three months following participation but can last up to sixteen months, especially for web-based interventions. Mailed and group feedback and social norms marketing campaigns, however, do not appear to change drinking behavior or reduce alcohol-related harms among participants (Cochrane-Moreiria 2009).

Alcohol-related social norming campaigns of all types may be less effective in locations with higher alcohol outlet density (Cochrane-Moreiria 2009).

Implementation

United States

Hobart and William Smith College is an example of a college that has undertaken an extensive social norming campaign (AEP).

Citations - Description

CG-Motor vehicle injury - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Motor vehicle injury prevention. Accessed on December 19, 2016
Cochrane-Moreiria 2009* - Moreira MT, Smith LA, Foxcroft D. Social norms interventions to reduce alcohol misuse in university or college students. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2009;(3):CD006748. Accessed on December 8, 2015

Citations - Evidence

Champion 2013* - Champion KE, Newton NC, Barrett EL, Teesson M. A systematic review of school-based alcohol and other drug prevention programs facilitated by computers or the internet. Drug and Alcohol Review. 2013;32(2):115-23. Accessed on December 8, 2015
Cochrane-Moreiria 2009* - Moreira MT, Smith LA, Foxcroft D. Social norms interventions to reduce alcohol misuse in university or college students. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2009;(3):CD006748. Accessed on December 8, 2015

Citations - Implementation

AEP - Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Alcohol education project. Accessed on November 24, 2015

Page Last Updated

May 30, 2014

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