Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2000


Enhancing parent-child communication regarding alcohol use through educational print correspondence is a potentially cost-effective tool in health promotion. The purpose of this pilot study was to examine whether a series of postcards addressing specific alcohol risk and protective factors, sent to the parents/guardians of preadolescents in two different school settings, influenced parent-child communication regarding alcohol use. Subjects for this study included parents of participating 6th grade students attending one neighborhood (N=262) and one magnet (bused) (N=388) inner-city school. Participating students were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. Baseline data were collected from students, enabling the intervention to be tailored to students' individual needs. Parents of students assigned to the intervention were mailed up to 10 prevention postcards over five weeks. Parents completed a 10-item telephone survey eight weeks after implementation of the prevention postcards. The overall parent response rate was 74% (N=478). Results of this pilot intervention found that postcards increased parent-child communication regarding alcohol use, but that these efects difered by school setting and race. Although significant efects were found for the intervention group, further analysis revealed that efects were found only for White parents at the magnet school. Discussion of these differences and implications for research and educational programming are provided.


Originally published in the Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 45 (2), 59-70.

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