Associations between misperceptions on substance use by peers and health and academic outcomes in university students
This source preferred by John McAlaney
Authors: Boot, C.R., Dahlin, M., Lintonen, T., Stock, C., Van Hal, G., Rasmussen, S. and McAlaney
Editors: Shek, D.T.L., Sun, R.C.F. and Merrick, J.
Publisher: Nova Publishers
This data was imported from Scopus:
Authors: Boot, C.R., Dahlin, M., Lintonen, T., Stock, C., Van Hal, G., Rasmussen, S. and McAlaney, J.
© 2013 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. The basis of the Social Norms Theory is that behavior is influenced by the perception of peer behavior. This implies that an overestimation (misperception) of substance use by peers would lead to an increase in personal substance use. It is hypothesized that misperception of substance use by peers is negatively associated with health and academic performance and that this association can be explained by an increase in personal substance use. The aim of this chapter was to investigate associations of misperception of consumption of tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs with health and academic performance, and to test whether this association could be explained by substance use in a sample of university students. Data of 6,403 university students in five European countries were gathered through a questionnaire about substance use by themselves and by peers, physical and mental health and academic functioning. Misperception was defined as an overestimation of the estimated prevalence of substance use among students. Multivariate models were built with misperception regarding tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs, and personal use of substances as independent variables and health and academic performance as dependent variables. Misperception was significantly associated with health and academic functioning. This association could not be explained by personal substance use. Conclusions: This study subscribes to earlier work on the importance of social norms, which indicated a negative influence of misperceptions on health and academic outcomes.