Gender, male-typicality, and social norms predicting adolescent alcohol intoxication and marijuana use


Mahalik, James R.; Lombardi, Caitlin McPherran; Sims, Jacqueline; Coley, Rebekah Levine; & Lynch, Alicia Doyle (2015). Gender, male-typicality, and social norms predicting adolescent alcohol intoxication and marijuana use. Social Science and Medicine. vol. 143 pp. 71-80


Objective: This study examined the direct and interactive effects of gender, male-typicality, and social norms in predicting the initiation and longitudinal patterns of alcohol intoxication and marijuana use in U.S. youth. Method: Data were drawn from a longitudinal survey of 10,588 youth who participated in the in-home survey of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Multilevel growth modeling used data from three time points to assess trajectories of substance use from adolescence to young adulthood. Results: Analyses indicated that gender, male-typicality, as well as home availability, friend social norms, and schoolmate social norms predicted initial levels of intoxication and marijuana use, with gender, friend norms, and schoolmate norms also predicting differential rates of growth over time in intoxication and marijuana use. Interaction results indicated that gender moderated male-typicality’s relationship to both substance use variables, and home availability’s relationship to alcohol intoxication. Conclusions: These findings extend the literatures regarding interrelations among gender, gender roles, social norms, and health risk behaviors by (a) locating the genesis of those effects in adolescence, (b) identifying gender and social norms to be salient in terms of both initiation and growth of substance use over time, (c) suggesting that gender differences should be understood as moderated by other social-contextual variables, and (d) arguing that prevention efforts should address gender and gender roles more explicitly in programming.



Health Behaviors Gender Social Norms Substance Use Adolescence

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Social Science and Medicine


Mahalik, James R.
Lombardi, Caitlin McPherran
Sims, Jacqueline
Coley, Rebekah Levine
Lynch, Alicia Doyle

Year Published


Volume Number





August 28, 2015



Reference ID