July 12-14, 2009

2009 National Conference on the Social Norms Approach

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Multi-site Social Norms Intervention for Student Athletes:

An Analysis of the Effect of Program Exposure on High Risk Drinking

David W. Craig, Ph.D., Dept. of Chemistry

H. Wesley Perkins, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Hobart & William Smith Colleges


This study examines the impact of interventions with student-athletes using a web-based instrument from the HWS Surveys Online Project to assess perceived alcohol norms, personal drinking behaviors, and program exposure in all school settings. Among schools employing this survey between 2001 and 2009, seven schools conducted this survey at three yearly time periods contacted all student-athletes enrolled in the school population, achieved a response from the majority of potential respondents in every instance (mean response rate 73.8%), and engaged at least to some degree in promoting social norms messages about student-athlete alcohol use. The analysis shows the overall positive impact of the intervention across time. The presentation also demonstrates the association between degree of exposure to social norms messages and lower problem drinking rates.