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Journal Article

Citation

Real K, Rimal RN. Health Commun. 2007; 22(2): 169-180.

Affiliation

Department of Communication, University of Kentucky.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2007, Informa Healthcare)

DOI

10.1080/10410230701454254

PMID

17668996

Abstract

Peer communication represents 1 mechanism through which norms are disseminated in social groups. The theory of normative social behavior (TNSB) posits that group identity, outcome expectations, and injunctive norms moderate the relation between descriptive norms and behaviors. This article extends the purview of the TNSB by conceptualizing peer communication as another moderator in the relationship between descriptive norms and behaviors. A survey was conducted among college students (N = 675) to measure their normative perceptions, peer communication, alcohol consumption, alcohol-related consequences, and intention to drink alcohol. As hypothesized, descriptive norms, peer communication, and the interaction between these two variables were significantly associated with consumption, even after controlling for known predictors of both consumption and various mechanisms of normative influences. Controlling for prior consumption, peer communication was also a significant predictor of intention to consume alcohol in the future. This model explained approximately 63% of the variance in intention. This study found a significant relationship between peer communication and alcohol drinking behaviors and intentions after controlling for perceived norms.


Language: en

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