Peer influences on college drinking: a review of the research.
Peer pressure is consistently implicated in the excessive drinking of college students. However, both theory and empirical findings suggest that peer pressure is a combination of three distinct influences: overt offers of alcohol, modeling, and social norms. Overt offers of alcohol can range from polite gestures to intense goading or commands to drink. Modeling occurs when the student's behavior corresponds to another student's concurrent drinking behavior. Perceived social norms can serve to make excessive alcohol use appear common and acceptable to the student. This review critically examines the literature on each form of peer influence and provides suggestions for future research.