Wesley Perkins, professor of sociology, gave two research presentations at the NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education National Conference on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention. The conference was held in Miami from Jan. 13 through 15. The first presentation was on the “Impact Assessment of a Multi-Site Social Norms Intervention Targeting Student-Athlete High-Risk Drinking.” Nine colleges and universities implemented a social norms intervention following the model that Perkins and colleague, David Craig, professor of chemistry, developed for reducing problems of alcohol abuse among student-athletes. A positive impact of the intervention was demonstrated as well as an association between athletes’ extended exposure to it and lower problem drinking rates.
The second conference presentation was on “Nation-Wide Findings from the Campus Survey of Alcohol and Other Drug Norms.” The Campus Norms Survey was designed by Perkins for the Core Institute that conducts surveys for colleges and universities across the nation. This instrument has been subsequently used more than 400 times throughout 40 states in more than 200 college settings. Results from the entire database (exceeding 160,000 respondents) were presented, not only documenting the overwhelming extent of misperceptions of peer alcohol and other drug use norms, but also showing the many ways in which norms are misperceived and associated with personal risk behavior.
Perkins is a graduate of Purdue University, and he received his M.A., M. Div., M. Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale University. He is the author of dozens of journal articles about substance abuse prevention and has been honored with national awards for his work in preventing alcohol and drug abuse in colleges and universities. His work with Craig is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a premiere model for substance abuse prevention.