The Alcohol Education Project of Hobart
and William Smith Colleges is a broad collection of education
and research initiatives. Its purpose is to better inform students,
faculty and staff in higher education and secondary school settings
nationwide about alcohol and other drugs and related social norms
and address problems of abuse.
"Misperception is Reality: The "Reign of Error" About Peer Risk Behaviour Norms Among Youth and Young Adults." by H. Wesley Perkins in The Complexity of Social Norms , Xenitidou, M. and B. Edmonds. (editors). (order at Springer books, abstract)
"Student-Athletes' Misperceptions of Male and Female Peer Drinking Norms: A Multi-Site Investigation of the 'Reign of Error."' Journal of College Student Development, 53, 367-382, 2012 by Perkins, H. Wesley and David W. Craig. (abstract)
"Effectiveness of Social Norms Media
Marketing in Reducing Drinking and Driving: A Statewide Campaign"
Addictive Behaviors, 35, 566-874, 2010
by Perkins, H. Wesley, Jeff Linkenbach, Melissa Lewis, and Clayton
about Student Alcohol Abuse and Helping to Prevent It through Service
Learning Initiatives: The HWS Alcohol Education Project" by
David W. Craig and H. Wesley Perkins in Service Learning and
the Liberal Arts: How and Why it Works, Craig A. Rimmerman
at Lexington Books, full
Alcohol Education Project programs cited in new U. S. Department
of Education publication, Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention
on College Campuses: Model Programs. (press
of Peer Drinking Norms in Canada: Another Look at the 'Reign of
Error' and Its Consequences among College Students." Addictive
Behaviors, 32, 2645-2656, 2007, by H. Wesley Perkins.
"A Successful Social Norms Campaign to Reduce Alcohol
Misuse among College Student-Athletes," Journal
of Studies on Alcohol, 67, 880-888, 2006, by H. Wesley
Perkins and David W. Craig. (press
the College Drinking Norm and Related Problems: A Nationwide Study
of Exposure to Prevention Information, Perceived Norms and Student
Alcohol Misuse," Journal of Studies on Alcohol,
66, 470-478, 2005 by Perkins, H. Wesley, Michael Haines and Richard
Available The Social Norms Approach to Preventing
School and College Age Substance Abuse
A handbook for educators, counselors, and clinicians
(To download, click WMV
VIDEO or MOV
VIDEO. MOV files may take several minutes to download
on some computers.)
Alcohol Education Projectin
the news This
link provides a list of mass media references related to Project
initiatives. Some of the news reports listed here reflect interviews and
quotes from the Project Directors and other reports cite Hobart
and William Smith Colleges' educational activities about alcohol
abuse and prevention campaign results in the context of larger regional
or national assessments.
Multi-State Results from
an Online Tool for Assessing Secondary School Norms just released! More
than 52,000 secondary students from 78 middle and high schools in
eleven regionally diverse states have been surveyed using an online
instrument.Results were presented at the 2008
National Social Norms Conference in San Francisco, CA. (click
here for presentation abstract and results).
A more detailed
analysis on a subset of this data is available here.
Secondary Education Initiatives
The approach for schools supported by this project employs a comprehensive
print and electronic social norms marketing campaign to reduce harmful
misperceptions about student alcohol, tobacco, other drug, health,
and school safety norms. Program components include (1) a new inexpensive
and efficient web-based strategy for determining local norms and perceptions,
(2) a print media campaign to communicate the local norms, (3) new
electronic media to expand and enhance student exposure and engagement,
and (4) curriculum development to infuse conversations about these
issues into the classroom. This project provides leadership in alcohol
and other drug prevention nationally through research publications,
conference presentations and workshops, focused school consulting
and training, and through development of electronic tools for social
Campaign to Reduce Misperceptions
This initiative includes print and electronic media and co-curricular
activities that have been specifically designed to reduce misperceptions
of student norms and thereby reduce levels of alcohol and other drug
use and the resulting consequences. Examples of products produced
are displayed here.
This initiative includes the development of a model for expanding
AOD issues in the curriculum for colleges and universities, development
of an extensive interdisciplinary model course on alcohol, a faculty
workshop for AOD curriculum infusion in other courses, and training
for student teachers and secondary teachers.
Bibliography of Faculty Publications
This link lists publications on alcohol on the college campus conducted
by Hobart and William Smith Colleges' faculty. The basic social science
research that forms the theoretical foundation for the Social Norms
approach to prevention is documented here.
Alcohol Use and Abuse: Causes and Consequences
Bidisciplinary Course (sociology/biochemistry)
This model course was designed to illustrate how the formal curriculum
can be linked to the development and implementation of a comprehensive
campus-wide alcohol prevention program.
Research and Teaching Resources
This link lists both on-campus and off-campus resources for alcohol
and other drug information. Library resources and web links to important
information sites are included in these pages.
Press Releases This link lists press releases from the Alcohol Education Project
and Youth Health Safety Project.
Norms National Research and Resources
This site is a compilation of research and resources to support the
application of the social norms approach to health and safety promotion
in a variety of settings including secondary schools, high school,
higher education, community, and statewide.
Health & Safety Project
This program expands the application of social norms to a broad range
of middle and high school behavioral issues including: 1) bullying,
2) body image, 3) sexual activity, 4) traffic safety, 5) tobacco use,
and 6) alcohol and other drug use.
BAC Research Program
This research program, directed by Professor David W. Craig, has been
designed to assess the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of students
returning home to residence halls late at night. Over 2,700 students
have been randomly selected to participate. Sample results from this
project can be seen at this link.
Life Survey Project
The Post-Collegiate Life Project began in 1987 with a survey of graduates
from three Hobart & William Smith Colleges (HWS) class cohorts
(classes of 1979, 1982, and 1985). The survey asked questions about
their post-collegiate lives in terms of friendship and family transitions,
careers and post-graduate education, and health and well-being. This
research has subsequently become the longest running study of post-college
life in higher education involving remarkable response rates from
entire graduating classes. The Project has expanded over the years
and currently includes graduates of eleven class cohorts ranging from
the Class of 1979 to the Class of 2010 with surveys launched in 1987,
1991, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2011. Special topics of research
in these data have included issues of stress and careers, gender roles
and parenting, alcohol use and abuse, shifting life goals and values,
experiences of forgiveness in the life course, and retrospective assessments
of undergraduate academic preparation for careers and life experience
in a global context. The Project is directed by H. Wesley Perkins,
Professor of Sociology at HWS.