Implementer: The Trimbos Institute
Partners: The Dutch Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw)
Program Overview: 'In Control: No Alcohol!' is a program based on socialization and communication theories, which targets elementary school children and their mothers in order to reduce alcohol-related problems among children later in life. The program was influenced by an earlier program called 'Smoke-Free Kids'.
Program Design: The program consists of five magazines sent out on a monthly basis over the course of five months. The magazines aim to impress upon parents the importance of communication, rule setting, and monitoring. They cover the following 5 topics;
- General information about alcohol, alcohol use among children, and the importance of parenting behavior such as anti-alcohol norms and parental supervision
- The risks of alcohol use, especially among children, and parental attitudes toward early drinking
- Parental modeling of alcohol use and the effectiveness of setting rules about alcohol
- Enhancing awareness about peer influence and increasing the ability to handle peer pressure
- The influence of alcohol-related media
The magazines also include information for parents as well as games and puzzles for children.
Evaluation: The program was carried out in 33 Dutch schools among 218 mothers and their fifth-grade children. These mother and children pairs were randomly assigned to either a control group or an intervention group. The intervention group received the 5 magazines, while the control group received one brochure on alcohol and parenting. Subsequently parents completed two questionnaires, the first of which was sent 1 month before the intervention started and the second of which was sent 1 month after the intervention was completed.
Key findings: The questionnaires demonstrated that intervention families showed an increase in alcohol-related communication and that intervention mothers were more likely to set up non-drinking contracts with their children and to monitor their children more closely. However, an increase in the quality of communication was only observed for mothers' who used alcohol at above-average levels.
- Mares, S. H., van der Vorst, H., Vermeulen-Smit, E., Lichtwarck-Aschoff, A., Verdurmen, J. E., & Engels, R. C. (2012). Results of the ‘In control: No alcohol!’ Pilot Study. Health Education Research, 27(2), 214-225.
Target Audience: Elementary school (10 years and younger), Parents
Issues: Underage Drinking
Setting: Family and home environments, Media (including social media)