The Impact of Normative Beliefs, Religion, and Personality on College Drinking Behavior




Sliwinski, James R.

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Despite efforts to decrease the high rates of alcohol consumption seen across many American college campuses, alcohol related problems continue to be an issue for several students ages 18-24. Past research has indicated that several factors may play a role in influencing one’s decision of whether or not to drink alcohol. Among these factors are normative beliefs, religion, and personality. Although we have learned much through past efforts, we are still unable to definitively answer the question of how can we reduce alcohol use behaviors on college campuses. The current study attempted to help add light to this issue through a regression analysis procedure that was used to determine what factors accounted for a unique proportion of the variance in alcohol use behaviors in a sample of 140 college undergraduates. Results indicated that personal beliefs, or one’s own opinion on what qualifies as a correct action in a given situation, accounted for the largest proportion of the variance. Future research should attempt to clarify what factors go into shaping an individual’s personal beliefs, as well as how this information can be used to lower drinking rates on American college campuses.



college drinking, normative beliefs, religion, religious orientation, personality, five-factor traits, drinking culture, personal beliefs, injunctive norms, descriptive norms


Sliwinski, J. R. (2011). The Impact of Normative Beliefs, Religion, and Personality on College Drinking Behavior (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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