Thursday, December 11, 2008

Parent disapproval of teen drinking has significant impact on teen drinking behavior according to GCASA study

The the last two years GCASA has had a contract with Catalyst Research in Kenmore, NY to provide many evaluation and research services for GCASA.

It is the partnership that GCASA has developed with Catalyst Research's two managing partners, Dr. Meghan Guinee, and Dr. Dan Webb, that has enabled GCASA to be so successful in obtaining federal and state grants and win national awards.

Dr. Guinee has done an analysis of GCASA's Prevention Needs Assessment data for Genesee County schools which has led to some interesting findings. For example, in 2006, 17% of the students in 8th, 10th, and 12th grade were considered to be at risk when they reported that their parents would think that its "A little bit wrong or Not Wrong at All" for them to drink. Students who said that their parents would not disapprove of their drinking were three more times likely to report that they drank alcohol in the previous 30 days (25% versus 72%) and four times more likely to have drank heavily in the previous 14 days (13% versus 54%) than students who said their parents would disapprove.

This is a significant finding about how important it is for parents to communicate clearly with their children their disapproval of their use of alcohol. What the data tells us is that if parents clearly communicate their disapproval, the drinking behavior of teens decreases not just a little but very significantly.
So the programmatic question is how can we increase the number of parents who communicate their disapproval clearly to their children?

There are other findings in Dr. Guinee's report which I will report to you in subsequent articles. If you would like a copy of Dr. Guinee's 14 page report entitled "Alcohol Perceptions & Use: PNA Survey Results for Genesee County" let me know.

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