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Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education

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Many students view the abuse of alcohol as integral to the student role. Thus, they feel entitled to drink heavily without sanction. OLS regression was used to assess the extent to which these beliefs about alcohol and the college experience moderate the effects of descriptive and injunctive campus drinking norms on students’ levels of alcohol consumption. Overall, respondents who perceived that same-sex students on their campus drank heavily tended to drink heavily themselves. This relationship was, however, strongest among individuals who viewed the abuse of alcohol as part of being a student. Although general injunctive norms were not themselves associated with levels of alcohol use, the perception that campus drinking was an acceptable activity increased levels of alcohol consumption among individuals who associated the student role with drinking. These results are discussed with reference to research on norm corrective initiatives and the anthropological literature on transitory statuses and rites of passage.


This is a post-print version of this article. It was originally published in the Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education.