The types of messaging that might discourage binge drinking among college students who are heavy drinkers might have different effects when presented to college students who are light consumers of alcohol, according to a study led by a researcher at the Georgia State University School of Public Health.
The authors found that delivering norm-based education messages to discourage alcohol abuse among college students is more complex than previously thought. The authors found a significant three-way interaction among norm type and college students’ locomotion or assessment regulatory mode and level of alcohol consumption for norm-based alcohol education messages.
Results of the study are presented in an article titled “Influence of Norm-Based Messages on College Students’ Binge Drinking Intentions: Considering Norm Type, Regulatory Mode, and Level of Alcohol Consumption,” published in the journal Health Communication. Dr. Bo Yang, a postdoctoral research associate at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University, was the lead author with co-author Dr. Xiaoli Nan of the University of Maryland.
[Photo: Dr. Bo Yang]
The study analyzed the responses of 519 undergraduate college students who self-identified as drinkers and who participated in an online randomized experiment testing alcohol education messages.
“College drinking intervention practice should pick proper norm-based persuasion strategies based on students’ regulatory mode and level of alcohol consumption,” the authors wrote.