Friends' drinking norms and male adolescents' alcohol consumption: The moderating role of performance-based peer influence susceptibility.J Adolesc. 2016 Dec; 53:45-54.JA
This study examined whether the relationship between friends' drinking norms and male adolescents' alcohol use is moderated by performance-based peer influence susceptibility. Seventy-three male adolescents (M = 17 years) from three schools in the Netherlands were exposed to the drinking norms of "peers" (electronic confederates) in a chat room experiment. These peers were either popular or unpopular, and conveyed pro- or anti-alcohol norms. Peer influence susceptibility was defined as the change in adolescents' answers before and after exposure to the peer norms. Multilevel regression analyses indicated that the relationship between friends' drinking norms and adolescents' alcohol use (assessed during eight weekends) was moderated by susceptibility to the pro-alcohol norms of popular peers. This relationship was stronger for adolescents who were highly susceptible. These findings suggest that a behavioral measure of peer influence susceptibility could be useful in alcohol prevention programs to select adolescents at risk for negative peer socialization.