Social Norms National Research & Resources
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Press Coverage (2003)

November 23, 2003
Antidrug Ads Admit Some Kids Smoke Pot
by Christopher Smart, The Salt Lake Tirbune

November 1, 2003
KROX Radio, Dr. H. Wesley Perkins was interviewed by Andrew Svec for a 12 minute "Insights" program where he discussed the social norms approach and his recent edited book, Crookston, MN

October 13, 2003
Alcohol-education Pilot has a Sobering Effect in Division III
by Beth Rosenberg, The NCAA News

September 26, 2003
CBC Radio, Dr. H. Wesley Perkins interviewed about the Social Norms Approach to to reduce alcohol abuse and research among Canadian university students by JC Kenny, Kingston. The interview was also aired on other CBC radio stations including Halifax, Calgary, Ottawa, London, and on Metro Morning Toronto.

September 19, 2003
CBC Radio, Fredericton morning show, Dr. H. Wesley Perkins interviewed about the Social Norms Approach to reducint alcohol abuse among college students, New Brunswick

August 26, 2003
"Back to School" interviews with H. Wesley Perkins and Michael Haines, focusing on the Social Norms approach to alcohol abuse prevention appeared on several morning news TV programs

  • WBFF (Fox affiliate in Baltimore, MD)
  • KUSA (NBC affiliate in Denver, CO)
  • WFRV (CBS affiliate in Green Bay, WI)
  • WBRC (Fox affiliate in Birmingham, AL)
  • WAND (ABC affiliate in Champagne, IL)
  • KWQC (NBC affiliate in Davenport, RI)
  • WXII (NBC affiliate in Greensboro, NC)
  • WSAV (NBC affiliate in Savannah, GA)
  • WKBW (ABC affiliate in Buffalo, NY)
  • WSBT (CBS affiliate in South Bend, IN)

Juy 16, 2003
WLVI-TV (WB), interview with Dr. H. Wesley Perkins about the Social Norms Approach to Subtance Abuse Prevention on The 10 O'Clock News, Boston, MA

June 24, 2003
Official Peer Pressure Yields Mixed Results
by Claire Bourne and Mary Beth Marklein, USA Today

June 17, 2003
Drugs, Alcohol Less Common than Kids Think
Letter to the Editor by David Craig, Daily Messenger, Canandaigua, NY

May 29, 2003
Turn Peer Pressure to Your Advantage
pp 1-2, Vol 9, No. 10, School Health Professional

April 23, 2003
Australian Broadcasting Company's Radio National Breakfast show, interview with H. Wesley Perkins by Peter Thompson in a live radio broadcast about Perkins' work on the Social Norms approach to health promotion

April 14, 2003
Sober Lemmings
Cass R. Sunstein's review of The Social Norms Approach to Preventing School and College Age Substance Abuse: A Handbook for Educators, Counselors, and Clinicians (edited by H. Wesley Perkins), pp 34-37, The New Republic

March 13, 2003
Local Peer Studies in New Book
by Kevin DeValk, Finger Lakes Sunday Times

March 10, 2003
ABC News Channel 9, interview with H. Wesley Perkins about his presentation on The Social Norms Approach to Substance Abuse Prevention on College Campuses at the American Campus and Alcohol Regional Conference, Syracuse, NY

February 20, 2003
Professor Perkins' New Book on Social Norms Receives Praise
Finger Lakes Times

February 2003
Footnotes, a publication of the American Sociological Association
Public Forum

Binge Drinking Prevention Research
By Henry Wechsler and Toben F. Nelson, Harvard School of Public Health

Written in response to Kerry J. Strand's article "Sociological Approaches Hold Promise to Curb Campus Drinking" [Provide link] published in the December 2002 issue of the American Sociological Association's Footnotes, Messrs. Wechsler and Toben call for prevention efforts based on "solid theory, measurement, and data," and claim that "the social-norms marketing approach so favorably presented in the article has a weak theoretical basis that is isolated from other theory and has little empirical support."

Student Drinking: Reply to Wechsler and Nelson
By H. Wesley Perkins, Hobart and Williams Smith Colleges

Regarding Messrs. Wechsler and Nelson's claim that the social norms approach is "isolated from other theory," Dr. Perkins replies: "What could be any more grounded in a fundamental sociological perspective than work on norms affecting human behavior and the power of peer influence? What could be more in line with classic sociological tradition than pointing out our often inaccurate perceptions of what is normative, and how those perceptions of what is real become real in their consequences (W. I. Thomas) as a partially self-fulfilling prophecy (Robert Merton)?"

Regarding their claim that there is little empirical support, Dr. Perkins writes: "I recently counted more than two-dozen academic journal articles consistently demonstrating pervasive misperceptions and another dozen articles and published monographs providing evidence of positive impact with social norms interventions." Citations for two reviews of this literature are provided.