Parents More Important than Schools
The social capital you’ve built over time with your child makes your input vital in preventing drug and alcohol use. Social capital is all the positive interactions one person has with another person (or institution).
What the Research Says
A study in the Journal of Drug Issues examines social capital among families and schools. The study used data from more than 10,000 students, parents, teachers, and school administrators. Researchers looked at “family social capital” and “school social capital.”
Family social capital includes measures such as trust, open communication, and active participation in a child’s life. School social capital includes measures like student involvement in extra curricular activities, teacher morale, and how well teachers address students’ needs. The researchers found that high levels of family social capital was helpful in preventing drug and alcohol use among adolescents. The social capital built at school had basically no effect on the same outcomes.
Research in Action
Many programs designed to discourage drug and alcohol take place in schools. Schools are logical locations to hold these programs due to the numbers of preteens and teens who attend them. Schools also see major impacts from students remaining sober. DARE is one commonly used program to try to prevent alcohol and other drug use. It generally doesn’t work well as a prevention strategy because it takes place too early and doesn’t include a home component.
This study shows that it is crucial to have parental involvement in these programs in order to make a strong impact among students. Preventing drug and alcohol use impacts the entire community, and parents need to participate in order to see the best outcomes.
ASAP Cincinnati works with local school districts to develop and implement plans to address student substance use. We can help develop educational resources, train teachers, run parent workshops, and speak with students. Call us at 513.792.1272 to discuss how we can work with your school to improve parent involvement in these programs.
ASAP is Cincinnati’s premiere outpatient treatment center for teenagers and their families struggling with substance use.
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