Binge-drinking: A test of the role of group norms in the theory of planned behaviour

Kim L. Johnston, Katherine M. White

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243 Citations (Scopus)


A study was undertaken to assess the utility of the theory of planned behaviour in the prediction of students' binge-drinking. Additionally, a perspective was utilised to address the usually weak contribution of subjective norms in predicting behavioural intentions. Respondents were 289 undergraduate students. The study employed a longitudinal design, with the predictors of performing the behaviour under consideration assessed prior to the measure of reported behaviour. Support was found for the application of the theory of planned behaviour to binge-drinking. A reconceptualisation of norms in the theory of planned behaviour, from a social identity theory/self-categorization theory perspective, was also supported; consistent with expectations, the norms of a behaviourally relevant reference group predicted intentions to binge-drink, especially for participants who identified strongly with the reference group. The results are discussed in relation to measures which may help to reduce the incidence of binge-drinking by university students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-77
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitude-behaviour relations
  • Binge-drinking
  • Social identity theory/self-categorization theory

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