Background

1,003 Parents/guardians and 561 of their teenage children, aged 13-17, filled in paired questionnaires on drinking knowledge, attitude and behaviours, and parenting approaches on the issue of underage drinking. The data was then matched between the children and their parents or guardians.

Read the full report here

Aims and objectives

  • Provide an overview of young people’s drinking behaviour in the UK, age of first drink and drinking environments
  • To understand parents/guardians’ awareness of their children’s drinking
  • To discover the effects of parental drinking behaviour and attitudes on their children’s own behaviour and attitudes
  • Investigate the effects of speaking about alcohol on young people’s drinking

Key findings contained in the report are

Only 50% of young people who have had a chat with their parents about alcohol found the conversation helpful.

65% of children who drink alcohol, at least some of the time, do it to fit in, or to be liked or to avoid being left out.

25% of parents/guardians incorrectly believe their child had their first drink at a later age than they actually did.

Implications for Drinkaware

The research offers a unique ability to cross-analyse the attitudes and behaviours of young people against those of their parents or guardians and key information can inform Drinkaware’s messages to parents/guardians:

  • Conversations between parents or guardians and their children about alcohol could be more effective and Drinkaware can provide support for them in this regard:
    • By making them aware that they may be overestimating the extent to which their messages are being received
    • By supporting to reduce discomfort during conversations about alcohol
    • By drawing attention to parents and guardians’ lack of awareness of how frequently their children drink

Let’s talk about Alcohol

72% of children who had had a drink have drunk alcohol with a family member, but only 50% found the conversation about alcohol helpful. Find out more about how to talk to your child about alcohol.

Graph showing who children drink alcohol with

Independent analysis

Drinkaware invites researchers to access the Drinkaware Monitor data for independent analysis. For more information, please contact Director of Evidence and Impact, Dr John Larsen: jlarsen@drinkaware.co.uk