Date of Award

Fall 12-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Michael B. Madson

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Virgil Zeigler-Hill

Committee Member 3

Richard S. Mohn

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 4

Bonnie Nicholson

Committee Member 4 Department



College alcohol abuse has been a staple in the college environment over the past 30 years (Johnston, O’Malley, Bachman, & Schulenberg, 2011) resulting in numerous negative consequences (Hingson, Edwards, Heeren, & Rosenbloom, 2009). Protective behavioral strategies (PBS) reduce the negative consequences typically associated with alcohol use (Martens et al., 2004). A positive relationship exists between perceived norms of PBS use and PBS use (Benton, Downey, Glider, & Benton, 2008), and an individual’s level of self-consciousness moderates the relationship between perceived norms and alcohol use (LaBrie, Hummer, & Neighbors, 2008). The relationship between perceived norms and PBS use under the conditions of self-consciousness has yet to be assessed. The current study aimed to assess to what extent perceived norms predicted PBS use with private self-consciousness, public self-consciousness, and social anxiety as moderators. Due to gender differences observed in these variables (Johnston et al., 2011; LaBrie, Pedersen, Neighbors, & Hummer, 2008), gender was also assessed as a moderator. Results revealed that perceived norms predicted an increase in PBS use. Private and public self-consciousness also predicted an increase in PBS use. A three-way interaction emerged between descriptive norms, private self-consciousness, and gender. Implications for college student intervention and prevention programs are discussed, as well as limitations of the study and directions for future research.