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Here are a number of resources that will assist you in matters of data collection and analysis. Most of them provide survey instruments designed specifically for use in social norms projects.

Social Norms Surveys Online

The web-based surveys of the Alcohol Education Project and the Youth Health Safety Project have been designed to support social norms programming in college and secondary school environments. Specific college student athlete and Greek surveys are available to support sub-population programming; youth health and safety surveys are available to assess not only ATOD issues, but also bullying and violence, weight and body image, sexual behaviors, school safety and weapons in school, and traffic safety and seat-belt use. Web surveys provide a secure, low cost, rapid data collection solution for social norms programming that provides for greater accuracy through real-time validation. Students can complete surveys in 10-15 minutes.

Information provided at this site includes:

  • Examples of results from surveys that have been administered
  • Sample surveys
  • Discussion of how to use these surveys in your program.

Youth Health & Safety: The Social Norms Approach

The social norms approach to preventing problem behavior and promoting and reinforcing positive behavior, put simply, is to dispel the myths about the problem being the norm among peers. It starts with gathering credible data from a population and identifying the actual norms regarding the attitudes and behavior of concern. Then a social norms intervention intensively communicates the truth through media campaigns, interactive programs, and other educational venues. Evidence has shown youth responding to these initiatives with more realistic perceptions of peers, problem behavior decreasing, and the norm of positive behavior growing stronger in the population.

Detailed information is available about:

  • Alcohol and Drug Misuse
  • Weight Norms
  • Bullying Behaviors
  • Gathering Credible Data

A Guide to Marketing Social Norms for Health Promotion in Schools and Communities

This guidebook is a comprehensive step-by-step manual for those who are interested in using the social norms approach to address school-age and community-wide issues. Contents include chapters on initial planning and data collection, as well as two sample surveys that can be used to gather data for social norms projects:

  • Survey of Student Norms
    Developed by H. Wesley Perkins and David Craig of the Alcohol Education Project at Hobart and William Smith Colleges (HWS), this survey was designed primarily for online administration, although some schools have used paper-and-pencil administration. For additional information about this survey, as well as information about support and consultation, visit the web site Social Norms Surveys Online.
  • Assessment of Norms, Behaviors, and Attitudes
    Developed by Michael Haines and Gregory Barker, this survey was designed to be administered primarily as a paper-and-pencil survey, and it is available for duplication and use by schools and communities.

The Campus Survey of Alcohol and Other Drug Norms (Core Institute)

This survey was developed in 1997 to assess respondents' alcohol and other drug use and their perceptions of campus norms and substance use by other students. Designed for use in college and university settings, the survey has 26 questions and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.

A downloadable copy of the Campus Survey of Alcohol and Other Drug Norms is available at this site. (Click on the "Surveys" tab and then select the "Campus Norms" link.)

The National College Health Assessment (NCHA)

Organized by the American College Health Association (ACHA), this national research effort is designed to assist institutions of higher education in collecting data about the health of their students. The NCHA allows you to generate data and incidence rates for a variety of health issues at your institution, such as alcohol and tobacco use, sexual behavior, body weight, and mental health.

Each participating institution is sent their individualized data as well as a summary of data collected from all the participating institutions that follow the recommended sampling procedures. This data can help you to:

  • Identify risk factors to students' safety and academic performance
  • Prioritize student health care issues and allocate resources for programming
  • Design new programs or evaluate current strategies

Contents of this site include:

  • Highlights of the results of the Fall 2006 NCHA survey
  • The complete Reference Group Report from the Spring 2006 NCHA survey
  • All ACHA-NCHA Reference Group Data Reports (2000 to present)

Monitoring the Future

An invaluable resource for national trend data, Monitoring the Future is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American secondary school students, college students, and young adults. Each year, a total of some 50,000 8th, 10th and 12th grade students are surveyed (12th graders since 1975, and 8th and 10th graders since 1991.) In addition, annual follow-up questionnaires are mailed to a sample of each graduating class for a number of years after their initial participation.
Contents of this site include:

  • Press Releases
  • Publications
  • Data Tables and Figures (e.g. Drug Trends, Cigarette Trends)
  • Purpose and Design of the Monitoring the Future Study
  • Principal Investigators
  • Links to Related Sites