Health Policy

The Missing Role of Parents: A Content Analysis of Newspaper Coverage of Parenting Practices and Communication Strategies for Addressing Binge Drinking

Askelson, N.M.; Campo, S.; Mastin, T.; Slonske, M.


Parents can employ communication strategies to prevent alcohol use among college students. This investigation utilizes content analysis to examine the coverage of parent-related strategies in 32 newspapers over the last decade. Of the 255 articles related to college drinking, only 49 mentioned one or more parenting strategies. The most frequently mentioned strategies were parental notification of their child's problem behavior by college administrators and communicating with older children about alcohol. The strategies mentioned least were monitoring and staying connected with college-aged children and talking about the consequences of binge drinking. The minimal coverage suggests a need for the use of media advocacy by public health professionals.