Social-norms interventions for light and nondrinking students

Clayton Neighbors, Megan Jensen, Judy Tidwell, Theresa Walter, Nicole Fossos, Melissa A. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-669
Number of pages19
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • abstainers
  • alcohol
  • feedback
  • social identity
  • social norms


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