Using (or not using) Social Norms Approaches to Tackle Binge Drinking on Campuses

Dr. Heather Stuart, Professor and Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-stigma Research Chair, Queen’s University
Dr. Keith S. Dobson, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Calgary
Dr. Sherry H. Stewart, Professor, Faculty of Medicine/ Faculty of Science, Departments of Psychiatry/Psychology and Neuroscience, Dalhousie University

Social norming efforts to change health behaviours have been used for some time. Interventions have focused on correcting overestimates of peer drinking behaviour to encourage less excessive drinking among students. The Caring Campus Project’s data highlighted a need to use social messaging, as an alternative to conventional social norms campaigns, due to an absence of misperceptions regarding peer alcohol use. Social messaging efforts to promote appropriate drinking behaviors and mental health practices will be discussed.