Preventing underage alcohol drinking through working with parents
Sammanfattning: An evaluation is reported of an alcohol prevention program that targets parents in order to decrease drinking among 13-16 year-olds. The evaluation was performed in a quasi-experimental study with a matched control group and annual assessments, directed at youths and their parents independently, in a longitudinal intention-to-treat design. The implementation of the program centered around three different schools located in inner city, public housing and small town areas. Participants in the study were 900 students entering junior high school and their parents.The intervention consisted in information and mailings directed at parents, which advised them to maintain restrictive attitudes towards underage alcohol drinking, and to encourage their youths’ involvement in organized leisure activities. The implementation successfully influenced parents’ attitudes to underage drinking, but failed to increase youth participation in organized activities. At post-test at grade 9, youths in the intervention group reported less drunkenness and delinquency. Effect sizes were 0.35 for drunkenness and 0.38 for delinquency. Two subsamples, early starters in drinking and early delinquents, were analyzed separately in addition to full sample. Results from analyses of these subsamples yielded effect sizes of .52 for drunkenness and .32 for delinquency. The findings were similar for boys and girls. The effects of the intervention were not moderated by type of community. The main results were replicated in a latent growth curve analysis, which too the clustered nature of the data into account. It is concluded that working via parents is an effective way of reducing underage drinking and delinquency.
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