Understanding the “social gifts” of drinking rituals: An alternative framework for psa developers

Debbie Treise, Joyce M. Walburg, Cele C. Otnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Binge drinking behavior has been described as the most significant health hazard on college campuses today. Using definitions of ritual behavior drawn from the literature, the authors conducted focus groups, depth interviews, and participant observations to explore the ritualized nature of alcohol beverage consumption among college students at two large universities. The themes that emerged provide an understanding of the rituals associated with college student drinking. With the drinking-as-ritual interpretation as a theoretical framework, the authors discuss how developers of public service announcements (PSAs) could capture and contextualize drinking rituals and thus make PSAs more relevant to the target audience. They provide examples of PSAs that could be tested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-31
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Advertising
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Communication
  • Marketing


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