Parents as partners in alcohol prevention
Shutt, Michael D.
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This study proposed and tested an intervention to provide guidelines and education to parents of first-year college students. It was hypothesized that students of parents who received this intervention would use less alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) during the first three weeks on a college campus. This study also proposed and tested a model to assess the predictors of ATOD use among first-year college students. Student past ATOD use, intent to use alcohol, perceived parental expectations, actual parental expectations, race, gender, age of first use, and intent to join a Greek letter organization were variables in this model. The study included three surveys including a survey for parents of first-year college students during summer orientation at a large, public university in the Southeast. The survey assessed parental perceptions of their students’ ATOD use in addition to their expectations of their students. The second survey was given to first-year students attending first-year student summer orientation. This survey assessed the students’ use of ATOD during the past year and during the summer prior to matriculation. In addition, students reported their perceptions of their parents’ expectations, intent to use alcohol post-matriculation, intent to join a Greek organization and other demographic information. The third survey was given to all first-year students three weeks into the fall semester of their first year and assessed student ATOD use over the first three weeks of classes. Responses from all three surveys were matched. Several statistical analyses were conducted to answer five research questions relating to the influence parents have on students’ ATOD use during their first two weeks on a college campus. It was found that there were no differences between the students whose parents received the intervention and those that did not. Additional analyses were conducted to predict what influences a students alcohol use during the first three weeks on campus. It was found that alcohol use was correlated with most of the variables in the proposed model. Future research is needed to explore further all the factors that influence first-year student ATOD use.