Two-thirds of parents say that seeing and hearing alcohol ads make teens more likely to drink alcohol, and almost three-quarters of parents say that alcohol companies are not doing enough to limit the amount of alcohol advertising that teens see, according to a survey conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates and American Viewpoint for the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Georgetown University.
"Parents get it that alcohol companies' ads are not helping them teach their children about the risks of alcohol use," said Jim O'Hara, executive director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Georgetown University. "Parents want accountability and responsibility from the beer and liquor companies."
Key findings from the survey include:
- Parents perceive alcohol ads as having a serious effect on teen drinking habits, and they see alcohol companies as falling far short in dealing responsibly with the impact of their advertising on young people. Fully two-thirds (66 percent) of parents say that seeing and hearing alcohol ads makes teens more likely to drink alcohol than they otherwise would be. Minority parents are substantially more likely than are parents overall to think alcohol ads make teens more likely to drink, with 76 percent of African-American parents and 73 percent of Hispanic parents agreeing that this is the case. Almost three-quarters of parents fault alcohol companies for the amount of ads that teens see and hear.
- Teens engaging in risky behavior while under the influence of alcohol ranks at the top of a list of concerns that parents have about teenagers' behavior. Eighty-two percent (82 percent) of parents say that teens' alcohol-related risky behavior is a problem in society today, including 56 percent who say that it is a big problem.
- A wide gap exists between parents' perceptions of their teens' drinking habits and those habits reported by teens themselves. The largest gap is between 15-to 16-year olds and their parents. Only 31 percent of parents of teens in this group say that their teen probably or definitely has consumed an alcoholic beverage in the last year, as compared with 60 percent of teens in this age group who report having done this.
- Parents reject the argument that alcohol companies' advertising practices are legitimate as they are only trying to make money like any other business. Parents overwhelmingly (81 percent) believe that, due to the potentially harmful effects of its products, the alcohol industry has a special responsibility to avoid exposing young people to messages encouraging alcohol consumption.
- Overall, parents find alcohol companies' specific advertising practices to be very troubling. Parents express strong disapproval for a variety of specific advertising practices commonly used by alcohol companies. For example, 65 percent of parents find it very troubling when they learn that alcohol companies produce marketing Web sites that include video games and other features that appeal to youth under the legal drinking age. And, 63 percent of parents were very troubled to learn that beer companies place their advertisements on television in such a way that young people ages 12 to 20 see two beer advertisements on television for every three seen by an adult.
Raise a Alcohol -Free Teen
While there are many tough issues when raising teens that can strike fear in the heart of a parent, teen drug use might be number one. But parents can't allow fears to force them to ignore drug concerns in their teen's life - and all teens have them! Each and every teenager knows someone in school who experiments or readily uses drugs. Every teen has seen it on television or in the news.
To empower a drug-free teen you'll need to put your fear aside and meet this issue head on. You can keep your teen drug-free, or start them on a drug-free path if they have been experimenting already, because this issue is not bigger than your loving influence.
Choices and Consequences: What to Do When a Teenager Uses Alcohol/Drugs
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