Conversations About Drinking: College Student Perceptions of Personal and Peer Drinking

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sarah Courtney Smith (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Lisa Curtin

Abstract: Alcohol consumption among college students relates to normative perceptions of peer use. One way in which these norms are likely disseminated among social groups is through conversations about drinking alcohol. Further, prior research suggests that frequency of alcohol-related conversations relate to self-reported college student drinking. However, little is known about college student discussions about alcohol. This study investigated how anticipated responses to a hypothetical conversation about drinking varied in relation to the valance of the discussion of drinking (positive vs. negative), perceptions of personal responses versus the “typical same-sex college student’s” responses, gender, and personal drinking behavior. Results indicated that college student participants generally matched the conversational valence depicted by fictitious peers in the vignette, and that participants perceived the typical same-sex college student as more accepting of heavy college student drinking than they perceived themselves. Overall, there were few gender differences, and self-reported personal drinking related weakly to anticipated responses. The findings suggest that college students report some willingness to express concern and offer advice when discussing heavy drinking with male peers. Results are generally consistent with previous college student drinking literature suggesting that college students match perceived normative tolerance of drinking behavior.

Additional Information

Smith, S.C. (2012). Conversations About Drinking: College Student Perceptions of Personal and Peer Drinking. Unpublished master’s thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2012
Student, Alcohol, Perception, Conversation, Drinking

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