Parent-based Interventions to Prevent Student Drinking

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Start Date: 2004

The present research developed and evaluated an intervention strategy designed to reduce the onset and extent of binge drinking in students during their first year of college. The approach taken was relatively novel in that the focus of the intervention was on influencing binge drinking behavior of the students before they came to college, through their parents, during the critical time between high school graduation and the beginning of college. Almost all current approaches in the binge drinking domain are based on implementing an intervention while the students are at college. By contrast, the present approach attempted to reach students just before they came to college, so as to make them more resistant to influences that encouraged the adoption or continuation of binge drinking behaviors.

Specifically, we intended to educate parents about the problem of binge drinking and to encourage them to talk with their teen about these issues just before the teen embarked on his or her college education. Past research of had identified information and perspectives that we believe parents could convey to their children that will ultimately reduce college binge drinking. Thus, the research developed an intervention to teach parents how to convey information about binge drinking to their teenage sons and daughters just prior to their entering college to reduce the onset of binge drinking in college; is evaluating the efficacy of the intervention; and is identifying demographic and psychological profiles of parents and students for whom the intervention seemed to be relatively successful versus those for whom the intervention was relatively ineffective.


D’Amico, E.J., Ellickson, P.L., Wagner, E.F., Turrisi, R., Fromme, K., Ghosh-Dastidar, B., Longshore, D.L., McCaffrey, D.F., Montgomery, M.J., Schonlau, M., & Wright, D. (2005). Developmental considerations for substance use interventions from middle school through college. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 29, 474-483.

Lange, J. E., Clapp, J., Turrisi, R., Reavy, R., Jaccard, J., Johnson, M., Voas, R.B., & Larimer, M. (2002). College Binge Drinking: What is it? Who Does it? Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 26, 723-730.

Turrisi, R., Jaccard, J., Taki, R., Dunnam, H., & Grimes, J. (2001). Examination of the short-term efficacy of a parent-based intervention to reduce college student drinking tendencies. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors: Special Issue on Understanding Binge Drinking, 15, 366-372.

Turrisi, R., Wiersma, K., & Hughes, K. (2000). Binge drinking-related consequences in college students: The role of drinking beliefs and parent-teen communications. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 14, 342-355.