Prevention programmes for parents: Research findings – classic early studies

A long-term study looking at the PRIDE prevention programme (for youth and parents) over five years found that there had been a continuous decrease in the use of all substances by almost all age groups. One example was that cannabis use by 16 – 17 years old had decreased from 45% to 30% among youths who participated in the programme. [Adams, R., “The PRIDE Survey,” Western Kentucky University, 1989].

In an assessment of 42 schools that participated in parent education and organisation, the findings showed that prevalence rates for cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana were significantly lower at the one year follow-up study. The net increase in drug use prevalence in schools receiving prevention programming was half that of other schools. [Pentz, Dwyer, et al., 1989].

When families are included in school programmes, risk factors can be reduced and early signs of problems can be reversed. One study has shown that three months of targeted family problem-solving training reduced drug use and a correlate factor (school failure) by the end of a 16 month follow-up, while control group families which did not get the training remained the same. [Biy, 1986]. (Quoted in Life Education International Fact Sheet. 1999).

A study of six schools examining the effects of drug prevention lessons for children to complete at home with parents showed that the children reported significantly less perceived peer use of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana, as well as significantly less peer pressure susceptibility to experiment with cigarettes. Mothers reported significantly more recent and frequent communication with their children about refusing drugs and, along with fathers, significantly greater discussions on how to resist peer pressure to use alcohol, tobacco and marijuana. Fathers also reported significantly greater motivation to help their children avoid drug use. [Werch, C.E; et al. Effects of a Take-home Drug Prevention Program on Drug-Related Communication and Beliefs of Parents and Children;” Journal of School Health: 61 (8): 346-350; ~1991].
In general, from existing studies on prevention programmes for parents, it has been found that those assessing children have shown reductions in their use of tobacco and alcohol. [Bry, National Institute on Drug Abuse; 1983].

Parent training can help reduce children’s behaviours that are precursors of drug use and increase positive behaviours such as school achievement, social skills and family involvement. [StouthamerLoeber, 1986].

Source: All reference resources are cited in: Parent Training is Prevention: Preventing Alcohol and Other Drug Problems Among Youth in the Family. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1991.

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