Date of Award

Fall 2010

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Michael Gass


Alcohol issues are a concern of colleges and universities (National Institutes of Health, 2008). This study assessed the effects of an outdoor orientation program on the alcohol use and perceptions of program participants. Specifically, 30 outdoor orientation leaders participated in a three-hour training based on the social norms approach (Berkowitz, 2005). A repeated-measures, quasi-experimental design was used to collect data on incoming students' own use and approval of alcohol, and their perceptions of other students' use and approval. Results indicated that untrained leaders were "carriers of the misperception" of permissive alcohol use (Perkins, 1997) negatively effecting incoming students perceptions. Trained leaders did not reduce participants misperceptions, however misperceptions in these groups did not increase. These results suggest the need for social norms training for outdoor orientation leaders to minimize their potential for spreading misinformation about alcohol use norms on campus. An outdoor orientation training model is presented.