Exploring personal values, attitudes, perceived injunctive and descriptive norms, and intrapersonal value-attitude relationships in relation to alcohol use and alcohol-related problems among college students
Alcohol use among college students continues to be a public health issue in spite of health promotion activities and programming. College alcohol use literature regularly examines the impact of perceived norms on alcohol use; however, little research has been done on the influence of personal values on alcohol use and alcohol-related problems. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between personal values, attitudes, perceived injunctive and descriptive norms, alcohol, and alcohol-related problems. The study also conceptualized and tested an idea termed intrapersonal value-attitude relationship, which was an interaction between values and attitudes. The current study employed a cross-sectional design utilizing a paper-and pencil survey administered to college students (n=910) within the classrooms. Personal attitudes and perceived descriptive norms of alcohol-related problems consistently predicted alcohol use and alcohol-related problems even after controlling for potential confounding variables. The exploration of the innovative concept of intrapersonal value-attitude relationship is a first step to examine the complex relationships between values and attitudes. Findings from this study suggest that the examination of values, attitudes, injunctive and descriptive norms are relevant and worth investigating further in regard to alcohol use and other health behaviors.