Arlington, VA – In recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month, new survey findings reveal both parents and kids cite parents as the leading influence on kid’s decisions to not drink alcohol. The research further demonstrates the foremost responsibility to address the problems of underage drinking lies with their own family.
According to a new survey, 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, President and CEO of The Century Council. “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.
Top Underage Drinking Conversation Topics Among Parents and Their Children
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.
The Century Council’s Mission to Fight Underage Drinking
The Century Council’s Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix program is the most widely-distributed alcohol awareness education program of its kind for parents, kids, teachers and caregivers. Developed in 2003, Ask, Listen, Learn has been independently evaluated and has effectively reached parents, kids, teachers and caregivers alike in a concerted effort to combat underage drinking. Late in 2012, The Century Council teamed up with two-time gold medal gymnast, 2012 Captain of the US Women’s Gymnastics and Dancing with the Stars contestant, Aly Raisman and her parents, Lynn and Rick Raisman, to encourage these conversations.
“As the oldest sibling in my family and captain of the U.S. Gymnastics Team, I take my leadership position very seriously and encourage kids to join me in making smart decisions, including saying no to alcohol, in order to reach their goals,” said Aly Raisman. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without the guidance and support of my family, especially my parents, who have always encouraged me to make healthy and informed decisions in life.”
As a team captain and role model, Aly supports this national campaign to say no to underage drinking through in-school presentations, national media opportunities, print materials provided by Scholastic Magazine, social media and online content at www.asklistenlearn.com. Aly travels to middle schools across the nation to encourage kids to join her in making healthy decisions. She challenges them on the interactive Ask, Listen, Learn educational game, providing an opportunity for middle school kids to learn about the negative consequences of underage drinking and benefits of making healthy decisions while they exercise.
“As parents, we believe it is our responsibility to engage in life conversations with our children early and often so they understand the importance of decision-making, especially in peer-pressure situations. In our household, we have made a concerted effort to model good behavior and talk to our kids about underage drinking in everyday situations,” said Lynn and Rick Raisman, parents of Aly Raisman. “We maintain an open dialogue around current events, news stories, topics they may have overheard from their friends and are honest about our own experiences growing up as teachable moments.”
Visit www.centurycouncil.org and www.asklistenlearn.com to learn how to #JoinTheConvo in April as we place focus on Alcohol Awareness Month and continue the work to keep our nation’s youth safe and alcohol-free.
About The Century Council
The Century Council, is a national not-for-profit leader in the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam, Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; and Pernod Ricard USA. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, The Century Council promotes responsible decision making regarding beverage alcohol and develops and implements innovative programs and public awareness campaigns which ignite action through strategic partnerships. Established in 1991, The Century Council’s initiatives are highlighted on its website at www.centurycouncil.org and www.asklistenlearn.org
About the research
The Century Council contracted with Toluna to conduct an online survey of parents with at least one child ages 10-18 living in the household. Using one of Toluna’s demographically diverse panels, an online survey of 600 parents was completed March 14-18, 2013. The data were weighted to ensure the sample was national representative of parents with a 10-18 year old living in their household. Toluna is the world’s leading independent online panel and survey technology provider to the global market research industry. The margin of error for a sample of this size is + 4.0%.
The Century Council contracted Toluna to conduct an online survey of 10-18 year olds and parents of 10-18 year olds living in the same household. Using one of Toluna’s demographically diverse panels, the survey matched parents of 10-18 year olds and their age appropriate son or daughter at the same time. A nationally representative sample of 509 parents and 10-18 years was completed February 15-16, 2012. Toluna is the world’s leading independent online panel and survey technology provider to the global market research industry. The margin of error among the national sample is + 4.3%.
(202)637-0077 or LepakJ@centurycouncil.org