"Be the Key," Dawson County Family Connection's underage drinking prevention campaign, conducted a community-wide survey in spring 2016 to find out what adults think about underage drinking in the area. This survey was a follow up to one conducted in 2014 and 2015 to help the campaign refine its media strategy and education efforts. Of the approximately 280 responses collected, 45% were parents of teens in Dawson County schools and 88% were under the age of 60.
• Over 94 percent disapprove of underage drinking (13 percent point increase from 2014).
• Less respondents expect teens to try alcohol suggesting they will be less tolerant of underage drinking.
• 84 percent agree there is something they can do to prevent underage drinking, up from 74 percent in 2014.
• All respondents indicated they would not allow their teen to drink under adult supervision.
The media campaign and attention given to the issue is having some impact, as results also showed an increase in the use of positive parenting behaviors. More parents are communicating with other parents who are hosting teen parties; more parents are discussing ground rules prior to their teen attending a party; more tell their teen to call home or a trusted adult if underage drinking occurs or if they feel uncomfortable by what is going on at a party; more parents told their teen not to ride in a car with someone who had been drinking; and more encouraged their teen to make an agreement with a friend to leave a party if drinking occurs.
"We are thrilled with those particular results," said Tiffany Davis, Be the Key Coordinator. "One of our main messages is parents really do have an impact on underage drinking, especially when they work together with other parents to tackle this important community issue."