Many studies to date have examined how media influence health-related behavior through social norms. However, most studies focused on traditional media. In the era of traditional and social media integration, our study advances health and mass communication scholarship by examining the influence of both traditional and social media mediated through social norms. Also, we examined a boundary condition for the norms-mediated media influence process. Namely, in the context of college binge drinking, we predict that exposure to TV and social media prodrinking messages can influence college students’ binge drinking intentions through perceived peer descriptive and injunctive norms. We also predict that group identification will moderate this indirect effect. Our moderated mediation models were tested via structural equation modeling (N = 609). We found that college students’ exposure to social media prodrinking messages indirectly influenced their binge drinking intentions via perceived injunctive norms, and students’ identification with their peers moderated this indirect effect. However, neither descriptive nor injunctive norms mediated the influence of students’ exposure to TV prodrinking messages on their binge drinking intentions. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Library and Information Sciences