Previous research has shown that social norms are among the strongest predictors of college student drinking. Among college students, perceiving that others drink more heavily than themselves has been strongly and consistently associated with heavier drinking. Research has also shown that the more specifically others are defined, the stronger the association is with one's own drinking. In the current research, we evaluated whether group identification as defined by feeling closer to specific groups moderates the associations between perceived drinking norms in the group and one's own drinking. Participants included 3,752 (61% female) students who completed online assessments of their perceived drinking norms for 4 groups of students on their campus and identification with each group and participants' own drinking behavior. Results 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 own drinking.
- Social identity
- Social norms