Perceiving the community norms of alcohol use among students: some research implications for campus alcohol education programming.
Data drawn from a comprehensive survey of alcohol use in a college student community (N = 1, 116) show most students holding a moderate personal attitude regarding alcohol use while misperceiving their peer environment as being much more liberal. Drinking behavior is significantly related to gender, type of living unit, personal attitudes toward drinking, and also the degree of consistency/discrepancy between the individual's own attitude and his or her perception of the campus norm regarding drinking. Students who saw the campus norm to be similar to their own attitude were found to drink more heavily, and in more public settings, than students with discrepant attitudes and perceptions. Implications of findings for alcohol abuse prevention programs on college campuses are discussed.