This research report that was published in August on Findings makes sense to me although the language is a little dry!
First get the parents to set and communicate strict limits on their children’s drinking was the implication of this analysis of how in the Netherlands a combined adolescent education and parenting programme exerted unusually strong impacts on later drinking.
Summary The featured report derives from a previously analysed evaluation conducted in the Netherlands of an intervention aimed at reducing drinking in adolescents by educating pupils and prompting parents to set and communicate explicit limits to their children’s drinking. First this account offers a résumé of the study and findings on the effectiveness of the interventions, before turning to the featured report’s findings on how these results were achieved.
The study had randomly assigned participating schools to receive either just the parent intervention, just the adolescent education intervention, both interventions, or to act as control schools which simply carried on with the normal alcohol education.
The programme’s parental limit-setting component was based on the Örebro programme developed and tested in Sweden. It entailed a brief presentation from an alcohol expert at the first parents’ meeting in each school year on the adverse effects of youth drinking and of permissive parental attitudes to drinking. After this parents of children from the same class were meant to meet to agree rules about their children’s drinking. The other component was classroom-based education providing children alcohol-related information and skills-training.
At the start of the study the children were 12–13-years-old. Nearly three years later the study assessed how many had started drinking at least weekly or routinely started drinking heavily each weekend. To measure adolescent self-control and parental limit-setting, adolescents were given statements like, “I have trouble saying no,” or, “I am allowed to have one glass of alcohol when my parents are at home,” and asked to rate how far these applied to them.
When – and only when – parental and child components were combined did the programme restrain the adolescents’ drinking, effects several times greater and more consistent than those typical of education-based alcohol prevention programmes; at the final 34-month follow-up, for every four pupils allocated to parenting plus alcohol education, one was prevented from drinking weekly and also one from drinking heavily each week at age 15.
Logically this makes sense to me. So for example if my kids when they reach that age are educated by me and MrHOF about alcohol and restrained in how much we let them drink and then they have a good quality educational training about it in school too I would expect them to be protected against excess. We shall see won’t we! 🙂