199120 Alcohol use, greek life, and social norms campaign messaging: A 2008 cross-site comparison

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lydia F. Killos, PhD , Health Promotion/ National Social Norms Institute, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Fraternity and sorority members typically are over-represented among high risk drinkers as college students. This presentation uses data from the 2008 National College Health Association (NCHA) Survey by eight schools with social norms campaigns to examine associations among alcohol use, social norms messaging and use of protective behaviors by members of fraternities and sororities.

The NCHA data includes measures of alcohol use (quantity and frequency), negative consequences and protective behaviors of more than 6,700 students, 621 of whom report membership in a Fraternity (N= 232) or Sorority (N= 389). Additional available information includes social norms messages, campaign dosage and delivery methods. We compare the risk and protective behaviors of students affiliated with the Greek system with those who are not. Students are divided, by sex, into four distinct groups, based on quantity and frequency of drinking episodes. These groups represent consumption levels from abstinence to heavy drinking, and are compared across school, Greek membership, and social norms campaign messaging.

Although students participating in Greek life are more likely to report quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption representing heavy, episodic drinking, they are also more likely to report engaging in some protective factors associated with a reduction in the negative consequences related to alcohol use (χ2= 17.5, df=4, p<.01). The presentation includes detailed multivariate analyses examining the effectiveness of social norms messaging about protective factors for Greeks versus non-Greeks. Implications of these findings as well as social norms implementation strategies will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate the balance of risk and protective behaviors among members of fraternities and sororities compared to other students 2. Analyze evidence of effective messaging for members of fraternities and sororities 3. Discuss design of a social norms campaign for fraternity and sorority members versus other students, based upon effective messaging in a similar university population.

Keywords: Alcohol, Social Marketing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently the Research Coordinator at National Social Norms Institute, working with 9 schools to develop their Alcohol prevention programs related to Social Norms Marketing. I have a PhD in Community Psychology from UVA, and have been conducting research and statistical analyses for 3 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.