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.
and Previous Presentations
Releases --------- In
H. Wesley Perkins, Ph.D.
Dept. of Anthropology/Sociology
David W. Craig, Ph.D.
Dept. of Chemistry
Hobart and William Smith
Geneva, NY 14456
Jessica M. Perkins, PhD.
Research Fellow, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Cambridge, MA 02138
and that misperception
alters how they see themselves. These misperceptions can lead
to poor self image, unhealthy
eating, and even contribute
to eating disorders.
credible data, using good research
techniques, and using an
assessment instrument that gathers both personal information and perceptions of peers is a crucial element
of the social norms approach.