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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Successful social norms campaign to reduce high risk drinking and tobacco use among intercollegiate student-athletes

David W. Craig, PhD, Department of Chemistry, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Pulteney St., Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY 14456, 315-781-3611, craig@hws.edu and H. Wesley Perkins, PhD, Department of Antrhopology and Sociology, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Pulteney Street, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY 14456.

This study examines the impact of a social norms intervention to reduce high risk drinking and tobacco use among college student-athletes. The intervention was designed to reduce harmful misperceptions of peer norms and, in turn, reduce personal risk. A comprehensive set of interventions communicating accurate alcohol and tobacco norms targeted student-athletes at an undergraduate college. An anonymous survey of all student-athletes was conducted annually for three years (2001, n=414, 86% response; 2002, n=373, 85% response; and 2003, n=353, 79% response). A pre-post comparison of student-athletes was conducted separately for new and ongoing athletes at each time point to isolate any general time period effects from intervention effects. A cross-sectional analysis of student-athletes with varying degrees of program exposure was also performed. Results indicate that the intervention substantially reduced misperceptions of frequent alcohol consumption, high quantity social drinking, and tobacco use as the norm among student-athlete peers. Over this same time period frequent personal drinking, high quantity consumption, high estimated peak BACs during social drinking, negative consequences of drinking and tobacco use all declined by 30% or more among ongoing student-athletes after program exposure. In contrast, no significant differences over-time were seen for new student-athletes each year with low program exposure. Among student-athletes with high levels of program exposure, indications of personal misuse were at least 50% less likely on each measure when compared with student-athletes with the lowest level of program exposure. The strategy was replicated at five other collegiate sites with varying degrees of exposure also demonstrating positive impact.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Alcohol, Tobacco

Related Web page: alcohol.hws.edu/mvp

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

Women, Family and Children Substance Abuse Issues Poster Session

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA