The University of Tasmania’s Department of Rural Health (UDRH) is committed to improving access to health care resources and contributing to improved health outcomes for people in rural and remote areas of Tasmania.
In 2005, UDRH received a grant from the Foundation to conduct the Social Norms Analysis Project (SNAP), the first major Australian trial of the social norms approach to addressing risky drinking and alcohol-related harm among young people. Social norms interventions are based on the research evidence that many young people have an inaccurate idea of how frequently and heavily their peers consume alcohol and that they base their drinking choices on this misperception.
Some key results from SNAP include statistically significant declines in the mean perceived frequency of students friends consuming alcohol and getting drunk. The students involved in the trial questioned their assumptions about what is normal alcohol consumption among their peers. It was found that contrary to the dominant image of bingeing teens, a sizeable proportion of students either don’t drink alcohol at all, or do so in ways that are not considered harmful to themselves or to others.
This project was successful in not only achieving positive outcomes in the target sites but also in raising awareness about social norms as an alternative prevention model. The project received significant amount of local, national, and international recognition.
Project date: 1 January 2006 – 14 July 2010
Organisation: University of Tasmania