H. Wesley Perkins, Ph.D.,
Dept. of Anthropology/Sociology,
Hobart & William Smith Colleges
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.
Haines. M., and S. F. Spear 1996 Changing the Perception of the Norm: A Strategy to Decrease Binge Drinking Among College Students. Journal of American College Health 45:134-140.
Perkins, H. W. 1994 Confronting misperceptions of peer drug use norms among college students: An alternative approach for alcohol and other drug education programs." In FIPSE Drug prevention programs in higher education training institute manual (4th edition), ed. L. M. Grow, 453-473. Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education.
Perkins, H. W., and A. D. Berkowitz 1986 Perceiving the community norms of alcohol use among students: Some research implications for campus alcohol education programming. International Journal of the Addictions 21: 961-976.
Perkins, H. W., and H. Wechsler 1996 Variation in Perceived College Drinking Norms and Its Impact on Alcohol Abuse: A Nationwide Study. Journal of Drug Issues 26 :961-974.
Prentice, D. A., and D. T. Miller 1993 Pluralistic ignorance and alcohol use on campus: Some consequences of misperceiving the social norm. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 64:243-256.
Presley, C.A., P. W. Meilman, and R. Lyerla 1995 Alcohol and drugs on American college campuses: Use, consequences, and perceptions, of the campus environment, Volume II: 1990-1992. Carbondale, IL.: The Core Institute.