Tracking Changes in the Endorsement of Injunctive Drinking Norms in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic Using Longitudinal Alignment Analysis



Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title





alignment analysis, alignment-within-CFA, COVID-19, injunctive drinking norms, longitudinal measurement invariance


The onset of the pandemic saw shifts in messaging around the acceptability of alcohol consumption at different times and contexts. A psychometric analysis of responses to injunctive norms may reveal important differences in specific aspects of norms that were influenced by the pandemic. Study 1 used alignment analysis to evaluate measurement invariance in low- and high-risk injunctive norms across samples of Midwestern college students from 2019 to 2021. Study 2 used an alignment-within-confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) approach to replicate the solution from Study 1 in an independent longitudinal sample (N = 1,148) who responded between 2019 and 2021. For Study 1, the latent mean for high-risk norms was significantly higher in 2021, and the endorsement of four specific norms also differed. In Study 2, increases in latent means for low- and high-risk norms were observed across 2020 and 2021, and differential endorsement emerged for one high-risk norm item. Examining scale-level changes in injunctive drinking norms provides insight into how college students’ perceptions changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Open Access

Green Final