UVA Study on Alcohol

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

A study at the University of Virginia shows that between 50 and 80 percent of students feel their friends drink more alcohol than they do.

A new program called Social-Norm Marketing, is helping students correct this misperception.

The latest survey given to undergraduates at UVA show students are abusing alcohol less and less.

Officials said the decline is due to an education program that's using social-norms to change misconceptions about alcohol.

"A lot of people misinterpret what other people are doing. We think that most people are drinking heavily all the time when most people are drinking pretty moderately," said Jennifer Bauerle, Ph. D. of UVA.

All of this information is used to send a message to students.
"We find out what the normal or norm behavior is of students and then to hold a mirror up and reflect it back to students," said Susan Bruce.

But sometimes, what we see in the mirror is only an illusion.
"People drink a lot still. Drinking is always a rampant problem on a college campus, there is nothing that will ever reduce that," said Emily Craft, a UVA student.

The University will continue to offer those programs. They just received a grant from the National Institute of Health on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for $675, 600.

"What we are hoping this will do for our students is really help reduce the consequences that our students experience as a result of drinking and in particular we're focusing on fraternities and sororities. You know that Greek life is very central to a lot of students, and so we think that because we're working with such a large percentage of student body through the Greek system, that it's going to have a ripple effect," said Susan Bruce.

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