Chapter 8: Using the Social Norms Approach to Promote Health and Reduce Risk among College Students 

in Promoting Behavioral Health and Reducing Risk among College Students: A Comprehensive Approach
Cemini, D. and Rivero, D. (editors)

H. Wesley Perkins and Jessica M. Perkins



This chapter describes the theoretical underpinnings, supporting evidence, and practical applications of the social norms approach to addressing problem behavior among young adults in higher education contexts. Challenges and lessons learned based on 30 years of research and intervention implementation in college settings as well as current cutting edge questions about the approach are identified. The goal of this chapter is to present the reader with extensive research evidence in support of using the social norms approach to address a variety of challenges among college student populations. Higher education leaders, administrators and health promotion practitioners can use this information as a foundation for building a strong commitment to applying the social norms approach in their organization, institution, or practice.