Some 89% of parents believe they hold the leading influence over their kids’ decisions not to drink at all or to not drink on occasion.
A second tier of perceived influences behind parents on their kids’ decision not to drink underage includes friends/peers (57%), brothers/sisters (42%), and teachers (40%).
Further, when asked to prioritize responsibility, 71% identify my family as having the highest level of responsibility to address underage drinking, well ahead of their child’s school, and their community.
The survey of parents, with at least one child ages 10-18 living in the household, was contracted by The Century Council, the leading national not-for-profit funded by distillers dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking and conducted by Toluna in March 2013.
“As parents we need to start the discussion about alcohol as early as age 11 and continue having the discussion often throughout middle school, high school and college,” said Ralph Blackman, Century Council president/CEO. “The Century Council provides resources to parents and educators to lead these conversations with their kids.”
The new survey results support a February 2012 survey, also conducted by Toluna among youth 10-18 years old, that revealed 83% of youth identified parents as the leading influence on their decision not to drink at all or not to drink on occasion. The findings demonstrate the importance of having conversations with your kids about underage drinking.
Today’s survey indicates most parents are talking to their kids about underage drinking, with only 10% reporting they have not yet had a conversation. When discussing underage drinking, parents are primarily talking about: how alcohol affects the brain and body (67%), drinking and driving is against the law/illegal (64%), alcohol is illegal (58%), and being physically harmed or killed (49%). Interestingly, the top conversations among parents and their kids on underage drinking are the same regardless of the age of their kids.