An Examination of the Relationship Between Consequence-Specific Normative Belief Patterns and Alcohol-Related Consequences Among College Students
BackgroundResearch has previously identified a high-risk subgroup of college students who experience high levels of multiple and repeated alcohol-related consequences (MRC group). The purpose of this study was to examine the association between consequence-specific normative influences and experiencing multiple and repeated drinking-related consequences using a person-centered approach. Normative subgroups were identified using latent profile analysis (LPA), which were then used to predict MRC group status at 6-month follow-up.
MethodsFirst-year college student drinkers (N=2,024) at a large northeastern university completed online surveys during the fall and spring semesters of their freshman year. Retention was high with 92% of invited participants completing T2, of which the MRC group accounted for 27%.
ResultsThree student profiles were identified from LPA on T1 data: Nonpermissive Parents (77%), Positive Peer and Parent Norms (21%), and Permissive Parents (3%). Logistic regression revealed that both the Positive Peer and Parent Norms and Permissive Parents profiles had significantly higher odds of MRC group membership at follow-up (1.81 and 2.78 times greater, respectively).
ConclusionsThe results suggest value in prevention efforts that include normative beliefs about alcohol-related consequences. Further, parental norms in particular have the potential to enhance interventions, especially through direct communication of disapproval for experiencing consequences.