Depressive symptomology and alcohol use among college students: the role of perceived drinking norms

Ashley Nicole Carmichael, Cathy Lau-Barraco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the role of normative perceptions of peer drinking in the relationship between depressive symptoms and alcohol use among college students. Participants (n = 225, 73.3% female) completed measures of depressive symptoms, alcohol use, descriptive alcohol norms, and injunctive norms. Results revealed a positive relationship between depressive symptoms and alcohol consumption, as well as between depressive symptoms and normative perceptions. Perceived norms either completely or partially mediated the relationship between depressive symptoms and alcohol outcomes. These findings suggest that individuals who experience more depressive symptoms may be more susceptible to peer influences related to drinking. In particular, they may perceive their close friends to drink more and to approve of excessive drinking, which in turn predict their own drinking behavior. To minimize alcohol-related harms among college student drinkers experiencing depressive symptoms, secondary prevention programs that aim to correct normative perceptions may be beneficial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-314
Number of pages12
JournalMental Health and Substance Use: Dual Diagnosis
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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