Perceived Marijuana Norms and Social Expectancies Among Entering College Student Marijuana Users

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This research examined the relationships among perceived social norms, social outcome expectancies, and marijuana use and related consequences among entering college freshman marijuana users. Students (N = 312, 55% female) completed online assessments of their marijuana use, related consequences, perceived norms, and social expectancies related to marijuana use. Results suggested that perceptions of friends' marijuana use were most strongly associated with marijuana use (d = 0.68), in comparison with perceived injunctive norms (d = 0.30) or expectancies (d = 0.19), and that the perception that other students used marijuana more frequently was more strongly associated with use among students who also perceived other students as more approving of marijuana. In addition, the relationships between perceived descriptive and injunctive norms and marijuana use were stronger among students who reported more positive social marijuana expectancies. Descriptive norms and expectancies were both positively associated with marijuana-related consequences, but, at high levels of both of these variables, injunctive norms were negatively associated with consequences. Results highlight the importance of distinguishing between descriptive and injunctive norms and between marijuana use and related consequences.

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