July 12-14, 2009

2009 National Conference on the Social Norms Approach

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Ten Tips to Implementation of a Middle School Social Norms Campaign

Ms. Kristin Bennett, Planner, Tompkins County Youth Services Department
Ithaca, New York

Ms. Judy Epstein, DeWitt Middle School
Ithaca, New York

H. Wesley Perkins, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology and Sociology
Hobart & William Smith Colleges


The successful implementation of a social norms marketing campaign at Dewitt Middle School (Ithaca, NY) has resulted in decreased drug use by students enrolled in the school (as compared with students at a similar middle school in the same district). This workshop will highlight how the DeWitt Social Norms Project has engaged students in multiple, creative, and effective ways over 5 years. Project leaders Kris Bennett and Judy Epstein will also explain how the program has engaged teachers across disciplines. Wesley Perkins will present the positive results of an evaluation analysis showing reductions in misperceptions and personal risk behavior associated with the campaign and in comparison to the control site.