Lotte Vallentin-Holbech

Project Aim

The use of alcohol among young people in Denmark is regarded as one of the highest in Europe. The aim of this project is to evaluate a school-based social norms intervention that seeks to reduce alcohol use and misuse, among adolescents (14-17 years) in public schools in Denmark.

Background

It is known that individuals and young people in particular, tend to overestimate the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption of their peers, and also overestimate how acceptable their peers feel heavy drinking to be. This project (www.sdu.dk/detgodeliv) is based on the Social Norms Approach which promotes positive behaviours and prevents alcohol misuse and its harmful consequences among adolescents through credible data. The approach works on the premise that if misperceptions are challenged then the social pressure on the individual will lessen and the persons own rate of use will fall.

Main research questions

  • What are the (mis)perceptions of descriptive and injunction norms regarding alcohol and other drug use among adolescents in Danish public schools (8th and 9th grade)?
  • How effective is a school-based social norms intervention with individualised feedback in order to correct social norms and reduce binge drinking among Danish adolescents?

Methods

This project is using an experimental design in order to test the school-based social norms intervention and is using pre- and post-surveys in both intervention and comparison sites. After the first survey pupils at the intervention schools will be presented with normative feedback that shows their own behaviour compared to the norms among peers in their own school. These social norms message will be delivered via the campaign Det GODE Liv. By integrating individualised social norms message in the intervention, the project strives to make the positive influence even more effective and thereby produce a persistent decrease in alcohol consumption.

Main outcome to be surveyed is personal alcohol consumption; frequency, amount and binge drinking. Perceptions of rates of peer substance use will be assessed using items based on the corresponding personal use items.


Supervisor:

Christiane Stock, SDU, IST, Unit for Health Promotion Research

Timeframe

1 November 2014 – 31 October 2017

Link to online PhD thesis as pdf without articles