Parents can help keep their child safe by influencing their drinking habits, and have much more power than they may think. That’s the message of Effekt, an evidence-based programme that was developed in Sweden, and has been run successfully in other countries.
It targets parents and carers of 13-16 year olds, helping them to maintain more the restrictive attitudes towards youth drinking typical when their children are younger teens.
Recent Australian research shows that parents with more restrictive views can reduce levels of binge drinking. This adds weight to the now considerable evidence suggesting parents and carers can be one of the most important protective factors in young people’s lives.
Effekt recognises that parents can often feel pressured into allowing early drinking, if they believe that other parents are more permissive. That is why the programme is designed to be delivered as part of parent and carer sessions at school, and builds group rules through discussion about how to implement the boundaries parents want to see in place for their children. We’re hopeful that Effekt will empower parents to protect their children, and that Effekt will become another tool in the armoury of schools and local communities to aid parents and carers.
An overview of the programme is available on the CAYT (Centre for the Analysis of Youth Transitions) website.