Kids and Adults Together

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Kids and Adults Together

  1. 1. The role of parents in preventing alcohol misuse: an Evaluation of the Kids Adults Together Programme (KAT) Dr Jeremy Segrott Heather Rothwell
  2. 2. Presentation outline <ul><li>Background – young people and alcohol </li></ul><ul><li>Aims of the evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation methods </li></ul><ul><li>KAT – background and aims </li></ul><ul><li>Analytical approach </li></ul><ul><li>Programme implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptability </li></ul><ul><li>Initial impact </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion points </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Concern about young people and alcohol – amount consumed; age of initiation </li></ul><ul><li>Range of health, social and educational impacts </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition of the importance of protective and risk factors located within the family </li></ul><ul><li>Growing role of schools in substance misuse education </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on harm reduction, involvement of parents and targeting primary school children identified as important factors which increase effectiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Development of new programme by Gwent Police provided an important opportunity </li></ul>Introduction
  4. 4. Aims of the evaluation <ul><li>Evaluate development and early implementation of KAT </li></ul><ul><li>Establish the theoretical basis of the programme </li></ul><ul><li>Explore implementation processes and acceptability </li></ul><ul><li>Identify what the intended long term outcomes might be </li></ul><ul><li>Contribute to the evidence base in relation to alcohol misuse prevention programmes </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Phase 1 examined programme’s development, theory and aims </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews with working group and documentary analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Phase 2 examined implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Observation of classroom preparation and fun evening </li></ul><ul><li>Focus groups with pupils </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews with working group, school staff and parents </li></ul><ul><li>Questionnaire to all parents who were invited to the fun evening </li></ul>Methods
  6. 6. Background to KAT <ul><li>Recognition of the need to involve parents in attempts to reduce alcohol misuse by young people </li></ul><ul><li>Australia Parents, Adults, Kids Together (PAKT) programme identified </li></ul><ul><li>Involves primary school children preparing for a ‘family forum’ </li></ul><ul><li>PAKT had achieved high levels of engagement and acceptability but outcomes unclear </li></ul><ul><li>KAT retains structure of PAKT, but with addition of DVD (“Gone”) </li></ul><ul><li>PAKT and KAT are universal prevention interventions </li></ul>
  7. 7. Aims of KAT <ul><li>Long term aim of reducing alcohol misuse among young people </li></ul><ul><li>Short term objective of encouraging discussion between parents and their children </li></ul><ul><li>Variation among the Working Group about the programme’s objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Programme addressed different needs within the group </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation confirmed communication as the primary objective </li></ul>
  8. 8. Analytical approach <ul><li>Social development model </li></ul><ul><li>Links family communication with later of alcohol use by children </li></ul><ul><li>Family environment contains risk and protective factors </li></ul><ul><li>Patterns of alcohol use learned through interaction with parents </li></ul><ul><li>Activities, perceived opportunities for interaction, rewards/reinforcement, skills </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction develops parent-child bond which facilitates reinforcement of young people’s behaviour by parental sanctions or encouragement </li></ul>
  9. 9. Programme implementation <ul><li>KAT delivered in two schools in 2008 in the Gwent Police area </li></ul><ul><li>Delivered to mixed Year 5 and 6 groups in School 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Fun evenings comprised quizzes, plays/songs performed by the children and displays of the children’s work </li></ul><ul><li>Drugs information stand </li></ul><ul><li>40-50 family members attended at each school </li></ul><ul><li>Goody bags contained the DVD, leaflets about alcohol, smoothie recipes, and a sheet for parents (“Encouraging Your Child”) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Acceptability <ul><li>High levels of acceptability among all groups </li></ul><ul><li>Pupils enjoyed KAT and saw it as fun </li></ul><ul><li>Parents found the fun evening informal and informative rather than ‘lecturing’ or singling out individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Delivering KAT in school to 9-11 year olds seen as appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>KAT fun evening open to multiple interpretations </li></ul><ul><li>Parents saw it as a way to find out what their children had been doing at school </li></ul>
  11. 11. Initial impact: communication <ul><li>Family conversations about parental drinking were key impact </li></ul><ul><li>Children attempted to change parents’ behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>KAT helped stimulate general discussion about alcohol or support parents in their attempts to discuss it with their children </li></ul><ul><li>Fun evening was catalyst for discussion about the work children had done in school </li></ul><ul><li>Little discussion of school work by pupils before the fun evening </li></ul><ul><li>Many pupils keen to attend and put pressure on their parents </li></ul><ul><li>DVD extended influence of the programme and generated discussion </li></ul>
  12. 12. Initial impact: communication HR: Carys, have you talked about [the fun evening] with your parents, or… Carys: A little bit. HR: Yeah, that’s since we last had the discussion group here, is it? Carys: Yeah. HR: And what sort of things did you talk about? Carys: I told them they shouldn’t drink as much and they stopped it now. HR: Oh right. Gosh! You’re very influential in your family are you? Fiona: I talked to my grandpa about it too, coz he goes down the pub every Monday and Friday to have a pint of beer, but I told him about it and now he’s cutting down on alcohol. (Focus Group 1, Feb 09)
  13. 13. Initial impact: knowledge <ul><li>Most children gained new knowledge, but others still enjoyed KAT </li></ul><ul><li>Information on the legal framework around alcohol and government guidelines (e.g. rules around drink driving) </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge about the effects of alcohol on the self and others </li></ul><ul><li>Parents also gained new knowledge on these topics </li></ul><ul><li>General agreement between parents and pupils about what different families members had learnt as a result of KAT </li></ul><ul><li>Information at the fun evening based on classroom work so pupils felt they were ‘teaching their parents’ </li></ul>
  14. 14. Initial impact: attitudes <ul><li>Difficult to establish if KAT had changed children’s or parents’ attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>The study was not designed to measure ‘before and after’ changes </li></ul><ul><li>Overall, children held critical attitudes towards drinking alcohol and believed in the importance of limits to drinking </li></ul><ul><li>Many believed it would be wrong or dangerous for them to drink </li></ul><ul><li>Some children enjoyed drinking alcohol (or drinks with alcohol in them) and thought this might be acceptable on special occasions </li></ul>
  15. 15. Initial impact: awareness <ul><li>Clear evidence that some pupils had deepened their understanding of issues relating to alcohol </li></ul><ul><li>Realisation that alcohol was more than ‘just a drink’, and the impacts that alcohol could have </li></ul><ul><li>Parental awareness about the influence of their own drinking practices increased </li></ul><ul><li>KATFF raised awareness among parents of what their child’s school was doing </li></ul>
  16. 16. Initial impact: awareness Girl 1: I thought it was just like a drink you can have but you can’t have…but now I know a lot more about it. And you learn a lot more about what happens to you when you drink it Girl 2: You know some of it but you definitely know more what can happen to you and how it works, how alcohol is Girl 1: I now understand what it can do to you if you have too much. Girl 2: Yeah HR: And had you not thought about that much before the KAT programme? Together: No, not really (Focus Group 4, March 09)
  17. 17. Initial impact: intention <ul><li>KAT had a small effect on intentions regarding future behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s intentions relating to future drinking </li></ul><ul><li>Parents’ decision to alter their drinking behaviour (e.g. not drinking until the children were in bed) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Initial impact: drinking behaviour <ul><li>Key issue for pupils was that KAT could reduce alcohol misuse by adults </li></ul><ul><li>Some pupils reported behaviour change among their parents, particularly reducing their alcohol consumption levels </li></ul><ul><li>Other family members also made changes, including those who had not attended the fun evening </li></ul><ul><li>Impact on adult behaviour sustained at three months in some cases </li></ul><ul><li>Some parents also described having reduced their alcohol consumption or making other changes to the way they drank </li></ul>
  19. 19. Discussion <ul><li>Impact on knowledge & communication within the family is a key strength </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s concerns about parents’ drinking made them active players, not just recipients of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Opened up opportunities for parents and children to engage in joint activities, develop skills, and reinforced pro-social behaviour around alcohol </li></ul><ul><li>These forms of socialisation may help strengthen bonds within families that increase the likelihood that children take on parental norms and beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity to extend beyond immediate families to broader networks </li></ul><ul><li>well timed in terms of the development of alcohol-related behaviour in young people </li></ul>
  20. 20. Discussion <ul><li>KAT attracted large numbers of parents and high levels of acceptability </li></ul><ul><li>Did not stigmatise or alienate many families </li></ul><ul><li>Research only explored the experience of those who took part in KAT </li></ul><ul><li>Engagement of fathers less successful than for mothers </li></ul><ul><li>Programme reached some families with alcohol misuse issues </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction between different programme components important </li></ul><ul><li>Test the programme in different school and community settings </li></ul><ul><li>Further research needed to refine programme theory, clarify key outcome measures, and examine long term impacts </li></ul>
  21. 21. Acknowledgements <ul><li>Alcohol Education and Research Council </li></ul><ul><li>Lyn Webber, Mary Pinnell and members of the KAT working group </li></ul><ul><li>Pupils, staff and parents at both study schools </li></ul><ul><li>Colleagues at CISHE </li></ul>

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