Health-Related Social Norms Among High School Students

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
David L. Wyrick, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Adolescents tend to overestimate the prevalence and acceptability of high-risk behaviors such as drug use and underestimate that of protective behaviors such as proper nutrition. Educational campaigns designed to correct social norms have demonstrated success at improving a variety of health-related behaviors and are among the most successful prevention efforts to date. A sample of 125 high school students responded to questions that addressed beliefs about substance use and other lifestyle choices. Student responses were tallied to determine the most popular responses to each question. Results revealed that the majority of youth surveyed did not endorse the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and many believed that individuals who use these substances are making unwise decisions. In contrast, proper nutrition and exercise were valued. Strategies are offered to assist health educators with the goal of illuminating prosocial group norms that will protect students from substance use and other risky behaviors.

Additional Information

The Health Educator, 36(2), 3-7.
Language: English
Date: 2004
Perceptions, Adolescent, Teenager, Substance abuse, Sexual activity, Education

Email this document to