Kids absorb your drinking behaviour

Kids absorb your drinking behaviour


New DrinkWise Australia research into parents' alcohol consumption shows a significant shift in parents' attitudes toward drinking alcohol in front of their children in response to its latest campaign, KIDS ABSORB YOUR DRINKING.

More than three quarters (76%)1 of parents surveyed said they are thinking more aboutthe impact their attitude toward alcohol may have on their child's future drinkingbehaviour as a direct result of the national campaign.

Almost a third of parents surveyed (28%) said they have reduced the amount of alcoholthey drink in front of their children in the last 12 months, with almost half (41%) ofparents surveyed indicating they are more self conscious about how they drink in front oftheir children.

DrinkWise CEO, Mr Chris Watters, said that the campaign had struck a chord with parents."DrinkWise's goal is to achieve a safer drinking culture in Australia through an evidencebasedsocial change campaign. If we can empower and inform parents today to alter theirdrinking attitudes and behaviour, particularly in front of children, then we're on our way toachieving a generational change, so that the next generation may view intoxication associally unacceptable," Mr Watters said.

"These research results indicate that we are heading in the right direction to effect thiswidespread generational change over the next decade, first by empowering parents tothink about their role modeling influence on their children."

Prior to the launch of the KIDS ABSORB YOUR DRINKING campaign in mid June 2008,DrinkWise commissioned independent research to collect data on parents' attitudes towardalcohol consumption. Data was collected in November 2007, and again in early June2008.The tracking of the campaign in March 2009, shows a significant move in parents'attitudes and behaviour toward alcohol, particularly in front of their children.

Other attitudinal results found that:
o Of the parents surveyed 36% indicate that they have since discussed with theirpartner how they drink in front of their children
o Of the parents surveyed 29% indicate that they have discussed drinking in thepresence of their children with friends or colleagues

Further independent analysis conducted during December 2008 specifically on the KIDS ABSORB YOUR DRINKING advertising campaign found that:
- 83% of parents surveyed agreed the campaign made them think about howchildren form their attitudes to alcohol1
- 48% of parents surveyed agreed that parents are children's role models and thatchildren are influenced at a young age by their actions1
- 30% of parents surveyed indicated being more self conscious about how they drinkin front of their children1

Parents surveyed indicated that the DrinkWise television commercial was non-threateningand reinforced the role modeling message, confronted existing patterns of behaviour,raised awareness, and was an honest appraisal of how behaviour is learnt.

Close to one in five (17%)1 of parents who had seen the television commercial said theyhad changed the way they drank alcohol in front of their children through measures likedrinking low alcohol drinks or spacing out their drinking.

DrinkWise's Board Chairperson, The Honourable Trish Worth, former parliamentarysecretary for Health said, "The independent research conducted on the advertisingcampaign illustrates that we can empower parents to see that they have the capacity tobe positive role models and that they can help redefine what is acceptable drinkingbehaviour. This is a solid foundation for generational change."

Ms Worth further commented on recent statements that DrinkWise will benefit frommoney collected from the alcopops tax: "Should this occur, DrinkWise stands ready toconsult with governments, industry and key health experts in relation to maximisingbenefits from further evidence-based initiatives.

"It is pleasing to see parents take the important DrinkWise role modeling message onboard and DrinkWise is committed to rolling out phase two of our 10 year strategic plan inJuly 2009, regardless of the position with the alcopops tax funding.

DrinkWise Australia is an evidence-based, not-for-profit organisation which receivesfunding from both the Australian Government and the liquor industry. Its long termstrategy is to promote a cultural shift to a safer and more responsible drinking culture inAustralia. The Drinkwise constitution mandates that its board comprises six communityand six industry members.

The KIDS ABSORB YOUR DRINKING campaign is based on compelling evidence whichsupports a strong correlation between the way parents drink and how their children growup to drink. Studies have found that parental role modeling has a strong influence onadolescent drinking patterns and that adolescents whose parents are heavy drinkers aremore likely to start drinking alcohol at an early age2-3.

1 DrinkWise Parents and Alcohol Benchmark Tracking March 2009, Quantum Research PtyLtd.
2 DrinkWise Formative Parents and Alcohol Advertising Tracking December 2008, QuantumResearch Pty Ltd.
3 Alati, R., Najman, J.M., Kinner, S. A., Mamun, A. A., Williams, G. M., O'Callaghan, M. O.and Bor, W. (2006) Early predictors of adult drinking: a birth cohort study. AmericanJournal of Eipdemiology. 162, 1098-1107.