Does Ethnicity Moderate the Link Between Drinking Norms and Binge Drinking in College Students?

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1 Scopus citations


Normative beliefs about typical student behavior are related to student drinking, but ethnic minority students may not view themselves as “typical” and may not match drinking behavior to perceptions of typical behavior. Data were from 18,748 US students in the Fall 2014 National College Health Assessment. Students self-reported ethnicity: White, not Hispanic (63%), Asian/Pacific Islander (12%), Hispanic/Latino (11%), Black/African American (8%), Native American/Alaska Native (3%), or Biracial/Other (4%). Students self-reported binge drinking (5+ standard drinks) in the last 2 weeks, and estimated peak %BAC was calculated. Controlling for age, gender, and fraternity/sorority membership, Hispanic/Latino and Black/African American ethnicity moderated the norms binge drinking and estimated %BAC relationships for and students. Prevention and intervention efforts, such as personalized normative feedback, that use drinking norms should be modified for students from ethnic minority groups. Specifically, norms from students with greater perceived similarity—not “typical” students—should be used in prevention interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-501
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019


  • Alcohol
  • Binge drinking
  • College
  • Ethnicity
  • Norms
  • Young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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