Examining the unique influence of interpersonal and intrapersonal drinking perceptions on alcohol consumption among college students.J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2009 Mar; 70(2):178-85.JS
Interventions for college student drinking often incorporate interpersonal factors such as descriptive and/or injunctive norms to correct misperceptions about campus drinking (e.g., BASICS [Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students] and social-norms campaigns). Some interventions also focus on intra-personal factors of alcohol consumption, which can be considered as one's own perception of drinking, one's attitude toward drinking, and one's intended outcome related to drinking. The current study sought to extend previous work by examining relationships between both inter- and intrapersonal perceptions of drinking and reported drinking behavior.
College students (N=303) completed questionnaires assessing drinking behaviors, perceptions of other students' attitudes toward drinking (i.e., injunctive norms), their perception of the quantity and frequency of student/friend drinking (i.e., descriptive norms), and their attitudes and perceptions toward their own alcohol consumption (i.e., intrapersonal factors).
Multiple regressions were used to analyze the unique influence between inter- and intrapersonal drinking perceptions and drinking behavior.
Among the interpersonal perceptions of drinking, only closest friend's drinking significantly predicted alcohol consumption, whereas all three intrapersonal factors significantly predicted alcohol consumption. Suggestions for enhancing college student drinking interventions are discussed.