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Normative Influences (II): Approval

User Information
Another important feature of normative influence is perceived approval. Below are given a number of items on peer approval ranging from immediate peers (best friends) to remote peers (people of same age).
Relevant Studies
Correlates of adolescent Substance use
Dielman, T.E., Campanelli, P.C., Shope, J.T., & Butchart, A.T. (1987). Susceptibility to peer pressure, self-esteem, and Health locus of control as correlates of adolescent substance abuse. Health Education Quarterly, 14, 207-221.

As part of a school-based substance misuse study, questionnaires were administered to 2,589 fifth and sixth grade students to determine level of use of various substances and intentions to use these substances, as well as problems resulting from misuse. The questionnaire also included 45 items concerning susceptibility to peer pressure, self-esteem, and health locus of control. These 45 items were factor analysed separately for two groups formed by random assignment. Six factors were identified which were both internally consistent and replicable and indices were constructed. The indices measuring susceptibility to peer pressure, self-esteem, and internal health locus of control were significantly and negatively correlated with most of the substance use, misuse and intention items. The susceptibility to Peer Pressure index correlated more highly with the adolescent substance use, misuse and intention items than the self-esteem or health locus of control indices and it had the highest alpha coefficient. Implications for the design of school based substance abuse prevention programmes are discussed.

Risk and protective factors for alcohol and other drug problems
Hawkins, J.D., Catalano, R.F., & Miller, J.Y. (1992). Risk and protective factors for alcohol and other drug problems in adolescence and early adulthood: Implications for substance abuse prevention. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 64 - 105.

This paper examines the risk focused approach to prevention of substance use. The paper examines the main factors that have been identified as conducive to risk of drug use and considers ways in which these factors can be addressed through the application of studies both to high risk and general population studies.

Effects of Friends' Use of Drugs
Iannotti, R.J., Bush, P.J., & Weinhurt, K.P. (1996). Perception of friends' use of alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana among urban schoolchildren: A longitudinal analysis. Addictive Behaviours, 21, 615-632.

This study was concerned with risk factors involving peer use and family use of various substances in a cross-sectional and longitudinal design. It emerged that while perceived friends' use had a relationship to later use, this was largely due to prior use. In other words part of the seeming influence of friends is due to users becoming friendly with other users. It was found, however that family use made an independent contribution to reported use.

Page last updated: Wednesday, 21 July 2004