Demographic differences in perceived social norms of drug and alcohol use among Hispanic/Latinx and non-Hispanic White college students

Karlyn A. Edwards*, Katie Witkiewitz, Kevin E. Vowles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Social norms are a modifiable treatment target that can decrease problematic alcohol use among college students. However, little is known about how social norms may be related to cannabis, opioid, and stimulant use. Further, it is not known how these relations might differ by gender and race/ethnicity. This study sought to examine the role of descriptive social norms of two peer reference groups (close friend and acquaintance) in relation to personal substance use among four substances (opioids, alcohol, cannabis, and stimulants), and if these relations may be moderated by gender or race/ethnicity in a sample of Hispanic/Latinx (H/L) and Non-Hispanic White (NHW) students. Participants were primarily H/L (58%), women (70%), and freshman (47%). Findings indicated that higher perceived peer substance use was associated with higher personal use for alcohol and cannabis. Higher perceived close friend stimulant use was associated with higher personal stimulant use, although perceived acquaintance stimulant use was not associated with personal stimulant use. There was no association between perceived peer opioid use and personal opioid use. Men had a stronger positive association between perceived peer cannabis use and personal use. Women had a stronger positive association between perceived acquaintance stimulant use and personal use. H/L students had a stronger positive association between perceived peer cannabis use and personal use. NHW had no significant association between perceived peer opioid use and personal use. Findings suggest that men and H/L students may be more susceptible to peer influences on cannabis and opioid use.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106060
Number of pages7
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume98
Early online date24 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2019

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Keywords

  • College students
  • Hispanic/Latinx
  • Opioids
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Social norms
  • Substance use

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