Before you send your kids to college, talk to them about underage drinking

A new study suggests that parents who discuss drinking with their teens before they enter college can influence their drinking behavior. Parents who talk to their children about drinking alcohol can lessen the chances of their teens becoming heavy drinkers in college.

Effective strategies include talking about why teens drink and other do not, along with the potential dangers of drinking. The study involved 1,900 students and their parents. They were surveyed during a summer before the students started college, along with another survey in the fall of the students’ freshmen and sophomore years of college.

The parents were divided into groups: one group given a handbook full of discussions and nonjudgmental conversation tips, a second group that used a handbook and “booster” discussions, a third group that did not talk to their children about drinking until they already started school, and a fourth group that wasn’t given any instructions.

Before the study, 51% of students considered themselves nondrinkers, 30% drank heavily on weekends, 15% drank moderately on weekends, and 5% were heavy users of alcohol. After 15 months of college, 25% of the students were nondrinkers and 29% were heavy drinkers.

Click here to read more on the study.


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