Psychology ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-14-2018


Despite efforts to reduce problematic alcohol use on college campuses, students continue to drink heavily and experience alcohol-related consequences (e.g., Hingson, Zha, & Smyth, 2017.) Descriptive/injunctive norms positively relate to college students’ own alcohol use. Despite substantial research, there have been few efforts to statistically synthesize these data. The present study was a correlation-based, random-effects meta-analysis. Articles published on drinking norms and alcohol outcomes published in English-language peer-reviewed journals between 2003 and 2015 were identified, coded, and subjected to meta-analytic integration. There was an overall medium, positive association found between descriptive norms and college student alcohol behaviors (rw = 0.36). A relatively weaker small positive association was found between injunctive norms and college student alcohol behaviors (rw = 0.18). Analyses revealed little evidence of publication bias. This research suggests that drinking norms are a viable target for college student drinking interventions. Future analyses should consider moderators of the relationships between norms and alcohol outcomes to optimize targeted interventions.

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Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Kamilla Venner

Second Committee Member

Dr. Katie Witkiewitz

Third Committee Member

Dr. J. Scott Tonigan

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Matthew Pearson

Fifth Committee Member

Dr. Clayton Neighbors




college students; alcohol; drinking norms; normative beliefs

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Included in

Psychology Commons