Examination of Brief Parent-Based Interventions to Reduce Drinking Outcomes on a Nationally Representative Sample of Teenagers

Shannon D. Glenn, Robert Turrisi, Kimberly A. Mallett, Katja A. Waldron, Lea K. Lenker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Examine brief parent interventions (PBIs) on a nationally representative sample of teenagers (ages 15–18 years) to change drinking, teens declining (i.e., saying no) to ride with impaired drivers, and increase parent communication about alcohol. Methods: Parent-teen dyads (N = 1,176) recruited from a web panel completed online surveys at baseline (T1), 30 days (T2), 6 months (T3), and 12 months (T4) post baseline (Psex: 54% female; Tsex: 49% female; Tage: M = 16.33, SD = 1.09; 76% White, 27% Hispanic). Dyads were randomly assigned to: Active Control (n = 390, 33.1%), Surgeon General (SG; n = 393, 33.4%), or Mothers Against Drunk Driving PBI (MADD; n = 393, 33.4%). Aim 1 was an intent-to-treat analysis of the efficacy comparing the Active Control, SG, and MADD conditions on typical weekend drinking and declining riding with an impaired driver from T1 to T4. Aim 2 examined differences in parent communication at T2 by different levels of engagement. Aim 3 examined differences in efficacy comparing the SG and MADD engagement subgroups at T4. Aims were evaluated by comparing means using Tukey's test to reduce experiment-wise error. Results: Aim 1 revealed no differences in drinking, but participants in the SG and MADD conditions were able to maintain increases in declining riding with impaired drivers. Aim 2 revealed highly engaged participants reported higher parent communication than moderate and low participants. Aim 3 revealed some highly engaged participants reported less drinking and more declining riding with impaired drivers. Discussion: PBIs may be successful in helping teens decline rides with impaired drivers. Highly engaged parents reported more positive program outcomes than moderate and low engaged parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-457
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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