A New Survey for Prevention Program Development and Evaluation: Assessing Student Misperceptions of AOD Norms

H. Wesley Perkins, Ph.D., Dept. of Anthropology/Sociology, Hobart & William Smith Colleges
E-mail: perkins@hws.edu

Philip W. Meilman, Ph.D., Counseling Center Director, Cornell University


Students' perceptions and beliefs about peer attitudes and behaviors concerning alcohol and other drugs are an important influence on student drug use and their perceptions are significantly distorted relative to the reality on almost all college campuses. Thus, it is important for prevention programs to be able to accurately and efficiently identify the extent to which students misperceive various norms and which student constituencies need to be especially targeted in prevention efforts aimed at reducing misperceptions. This session presents the finalized version of a new survey instrument to assess misperceptions that the presenters have created along with other CORE Institute staff. The survey is easy to administer in a short time span. It is optically scanned and scored by the CORE Institute and a summary report of results is automatically produced from the data that are collected. Examples of the survey and report will be provided in the session along with discussion of use of the data in prevention program initiatives and evaluation.


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