Associations between normative influences and adult alcohol use

Abraham Brown, Gomaa Agag*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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Background: Despite evidence showing that normative influences can impact excessive alcohol use, the mechanisms underlying such influences on drinking intention and behaviour are not well documented. We examined the extent to which the effect of perceived prevalence on drinking intention, which in turn affects alcohol use, will be strengthened by perceived approval and benefits.

Methods: A non-probability convenience sample of 617 adult drinkers (aged 18+) in the UK was selected to participate in online survey. Structural equation modeling tested hypothesised relationships between perceived prevalence and drinking intention, which was moderated by perceived approval and perceived benefits.

Results: A third of adults thought that they engage in excessive drinking. Those who thought that they drink regularly were just over two-thirds whereas about a third were occasional drinkers. Majority of respondents, around three-quarters said they most commonly drink with their partner, friends or family members. Independent paths from perceived prevalence, perceived approval and benefits significantly affected adults' intention to drink, which in turn affected drinking behaviour. Injunctive norms heightened the relationship between descriptive norms and intention to drink.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that adults might be drinking excessively because of greater perceptions of prevalence and approval. Interventions aimed at reducing alcohol use patterns among adults would benefit from including normative influences to help reduce drinking norms, particularly among young adults with low education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication8th International Conference on Business and Economics Research (ICBER 2018),Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventICBER 2018 : 2018 8th International Conference on Business and Economics Research
- Waterloo, Canada
Duration: 2 Aug 20184 Aug 2018


ConferenceICBER 2018 : 2018 8th International Conference on Business and Economics Research
Internet address


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