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J Soc Clin Psychol. 2012 Jan 1;31(1):51-80.

Change and Stability in Active and Passive Social Influence Dynamics during Natural Drinking Events: A Longitudinal Measurement-Burst Study.

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  • 1University of Connecticut Health Center.


We examined the link between social norms and active social influences occurring during natural social drinking contexts. Across 4 yearly measurement-bursts, college students (N = 523) reported daily for 30-day periods on drinking norms, drinking offers, how many drinks they accepted, and personal drinking levels during social drinking events. In contexts where drinking norms were higher, students were more likely to both receive and comply with drinking offers. These acute social influences were highly stable throughout college, but affected men and women differently across time: Women received more drinking offers than men, especially at the beginning of college and when norms were higher, but men complied with more drinking offers per occasion. These effects were not attributable to between-person differences in social drinking motives or drinking levels, nor to within-person patterns of situation-selection. The present work suggests that context-specific drinking norms catalyze active social influence attempts, and further promote compliance drinking.

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