Social Norms about a Health Issue in Work Group Networks

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to advance theorizing about how small groups understand health issues through the use of social network analysis. To achieve this goal, an adapted cognitive social structure examines group social norms around a specific health issue, H1N1 flu prevention. As predicted, individual's attitudes, self-efficacy, and perceived social norms were each positively associated with behavioral intentions for at least one of the H1N1 health behaviors studied. Moreover, collective norms of the whole group were also associated with behavioral intentions, even after controlling for how individual group members perceive those norms. For members of work groups in which pairs were perceived to agree in their support for H1N1 vaccination, the effect of individually perceived group norms on behavioral intentions was stronger than for groups with less agreement.

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