New data from a national survey of high school students shows that teens who receive a message from their parents that underage drinking is completely unacceptable are more than 80 percent less likely to drink than teens who receive other messages. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and National Presenting Sponsor Nationwide Insurance® released the new survey results today with a corresponding infographic.
As part of Alcohol Awareness Month and in advance of prom and graduation season, MADD affiliates across the country are participating in “21 Days in Support of 21” leading up to the fourth annual PowerTalk 21 day on April 21st — the national day for parents to talk with their teens about not drinking until age 21. A calendar of the 21 sites and other local community efforts, plus daily blogs are available online.
“MADD’s 21 days of activities across the country culminate with our first-ever Power of Parents® online sessions,” said MADD National President Jan Withers. “It’s undeniable the influence parents have on their teens’ behavior. Our kids are listening; but what parents say and how they say it makes all the difference.”
Each year, about 4,700 people die as a result of underage drinking. The Power of Parents program equips parents with the tools to have the sometimes difficult, but potentially lifesaving conversations with their teens about the dangers of alcohol. On April 21st, MADD will offer free 30-minute online parent workshops — in both English and Spanish. Parents can register here.
“It’s crucial for parents to have ongoing, intentional conversations with their teens about alcohol, but it’s also important to make sure the message they’re sending is clear — no alcohol before 21,” said Bill Windsor, Nationwide Insurance Associate Vice President of Consumer Safety. “Nationwide has teamed up with MADD to give parents the tools they need to keep their children and others safe.”
Developed with Robert Turrisi, Ph.D, professor and researcher at Pennsylvania State University, the Power of Parents workshops and supporting handbook are based on his more than two decades of underage drinking research, and have been shown to significantly reduce underage drinking behaviors.
“Decades of research show that there is no safe way to ‘teach’ teens how to drink responsibly,” said Dr. Turrisi. “A clear no-use message is the most effective way for parents to help keep teens safe from the many dangers associated with underage alcohol use. This issue is too important to leave to chance and hope for the best.”
Nationwide Insurance is the national presenting sponsor for Power of Parents, and the GM Foundation is a national supporting partner. National program partners include the National Football League (NFL), National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), American Association of School Administrators (AASA), National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), The Partnership at Drugfree.org, National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), and the Drug Free Action Alliance (DFAA).
To see what workshops and activities are happening in your local area, or for conversation starters, tips and the Power of Parents handbook, visit http://www.madd.org/powertalk21.