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Environmental Management & Social Norming

The work of the Center for Health Education & Wellness is grounded in the social ecological model.

Environmental management strives to address a broad array of factors that influence individual health decisions and behaviors at the institutional, community, group, individual, and public policy levels. Through environmental management, behavior change is encouraged by promoting positive behaviors and discouraging high-risk behaviors. Interventions for change can include environmental change, intervention and treatment, education and awareness programming, and health protection.

The social norms approach is the practice of communicating accurate information about student behaviors to reduce misconceptions about what is and what is not normal behavior for a college student. Simply stated, social norming is communicating the truth in a positive way that conveys information about “safety, responsibility, and moderation.”¹


1Perkins, H. Wesley (2002). The Social Norms Approach to Preventing School and College Age Substance Abuse: A Handbook for Educators, Counselors, and Clinicians. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.