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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Social Comparison as a Moderator of the Association Between Perceived Norms and Alcohol Use and Negative Consequences Among College Students

The present study aimed to extend previous research examining the relationships among perceived drinking norms, alcohol use, and related negative consequences by examining the moderating influence of social comparison orientation. 

A sample of 481 college students (44% male) completed a Web-based survey that assessed perceptions of drinking behavior, social comparison orientation, and alcohol use. 

The results suggested that social comparison orientation moderated the norm-behavior relationship such that the association between perceived drinking norms and alcohol-related negative consequences was stronger for those higher in social comparison. Results also showed that there was no moderation effect for alcohol consumption as the dependent variable. 

The findings of the present study are potentially important when developing efficacious alcohol prevention and intervention programs at colleges and universities and in considering more complex models of social influences on drinking.

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