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The myth of conformity: adolescents and abstention from unhealthy drinking behaviors.
Soc Sci Med. 2014 May; 108:34-45.SS

Abstract

Adolescent peer groups with pro-drinking group norms are a well-established source of influence for alcohol initiation and use. However, classic experimental studies of social influence, namely 'minority influence', clearly indicate social situations in which an individual can resist conforming to the group norm. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health ("Add Health"), a nationally representative sample of adolescents, we find evidence that being a non-drinking adolescent does not unilaterally put youth at risk for drinking onset when faced with a friendship network where the majority of friends drink. Our results also show that a non-drinking adolescent with a majority of drinking friends is significantly less likely to initiate alcohol abuse if he or she has a minority of non-drinking friend(s). Furthermore, a drinking adolescent with a majority of friends who drink has a decreased probability of continuing to drink and has overall lower levels of consumption if he or she has a minority of friends who do not drink. Our findings recognize that adolescent in-group friendships are a mix of behavioral profiles and can perhaps help adolescents continue or begin to abstain alcohol use even when in a friendship group supportive of alcohol use.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Arizona State University, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 411 N. Central Ave., Room 600, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA. Electronic address: carter.rees@asu.edu.Arizona State University, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 411 N. Central Ave., Room 600, Phoenix, AZ 85050, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24608118

Citation

Rees, Carter, and Danielle Wallace. "The Myth of Conformity: Adolescents and Abstention From Unhealthy Drinking Behaviors." Social Science & Medicine (1982), vol. 108, 2014, pp. 34-45.
Rees C, Wallace D. The myth of conformity: adolescents and abstention from unhealthy drinking behaviors. Soc Sci Med. 2014;108:34-45.
Rees, C., & Wallace, D. (2014). The myth of conformity: adolescents and abstention from unhealthy drinking behaviors. Social Science & Medicine (1982), 108, 34-45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.01.040
Rees C, Wallace D. The Myth of Conformity: Adolescents and Abstention From Unhealthy Drinking Behaviors. Soc Sci Med. 2014;108:34-45. PubMed PMID: 24608118.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The myth of conformity: adolescents and abstention from unhealthy drinking behaviors. AU - Rees,Carter, AU - Wallace,Danielle, Y1 - 2014/02/12/ PY - 2013/05/08/received PY - 2013/12/04/revised PY - 2014/01/27/accepted PY - 2014/3/11/entrez PY - 2014/3/13/pubmed PY - 2015/2/3/medline KW - Adolescent drinking KW - Conformity KW - Dissent KW - Friendship networks KW - Minority influence KW - Social influence SP - 34 EP - 45 JF - Social science & medicine (1982) JO - Soc Sci Med VL - 108 N2 - Adolescent peer groups with pro-drinking group norms are a well-established source of influence for alcohol initiation and use. However, classic experimental studies of social influence, namely 'minority influence', clearly indicate social situations in which an individual can resist conforming to the group norm. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health ("Add Health"), a nationally representative sample of adolescents, we find evidence that being a non-drinking adolescent does not unilaterally put youth at risk for drinking onset when faced with a friendship network where the majority of friends drink. Our results also show that a non-drinking adolescent with a majority of drinking friends is significantly less likely to initiate alcohol abuse if he or she has a minority of non-drinking friend(s). Furthermore, a drinking adolescent with a majority of friends who drink has a decreased probability of continuing to drink and has overall lower levels of consumption if he or she has a minority of friends who do not drink. Our findings recognize that adolescent in-group friendships are a mix of behavioral profiles and can perhaps help adolescents continue or begin to abstain alcohol use even when in a friendship group supportive of alcohol use. SN - 1873-5347 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24608118/The_myth_of_conformity:_adolescents_and_abstention_from_unhealthy_drinking_behaviors_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0277-9536(14)00067-7 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -