Campus-Wide Multimedia Campaigns to Reduce Student Misperceptions of AOD Norms

H. Wesley Perkins, Ph.D., Dept. of Anthropology/Sociology, Hobart & William Smith Colleges

David W. Craig, Ph.D., Dept. of Chemistry, Hobart & William Smith Colleges



This session will present an innovative approach to proactive prevention that focuses on changing students' perceptions of peer AOD use and campus culture. The existence of exaggerated perceptions of peer norms on most campuses is becoming more widely accepted among prevention specialists. National research has clearly linked these exaggerated perceptions to higher levels of AOD abuse among students who hold them. Programs employing techniques such as student workshops and mass-media advertising to reduce misperceptions have shown promise in reducing this abuse. Based on this theoretical foundation the presenters of this session will introduce new techniques to reduce misperceptions and promote greater discussion and awareness of positive student norms. In particular, new models for AOD prevention campaigns will be unveiled that use electronic communications networks and multimedia platforms to address misperceptions in campus environments. This session will demonstrate how campus microcomputing and communication networks can be used to incorporate and enhance proactive advertising, information distribution on actual peer norms, and curricular infusion work that may be taking place in other ongoing prevention efforts. The session will provide a demonstration of online multimedia programs that have been developed and pilot tested in an undergraduate environment. These multimedia programs provide proactive information to students in a variety of formats including interconnected student video and data presentations and interactive scripted scenes. Preliminary evaluation data on the project will be presented.


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