, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 929-941,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 21 Jun 2007

Sociometric Status and Social Drinking: Observations of Modelling and Persuasion in Young Adult Peer Groups


Because young adult drinking occurs primarily in peer groups, this should be taken into account when studying influences on drinking behaviour. This paper aimed to assess influences on drinking by observing existing peer groups in a naturalistic setting. We first analysed the basic levels at which two types of influence take place. The first, modelling (imitating others’ drinking), was found to significantly influence individual drinking, whereas for the second one, persuasion (drinking resulting from others offering drinks), no predictions were found. Subsequently, we examined whether peer group members’ sociometric status in the group affected the amount of influence and persuasion exerted and received. No indications were found that sociometric status had an impact on influence in alcohol consumption within a drinking situation. Features and weaknesses of the study are discussed.