Biography and Research Interests
My Project: Testing “Hou vol! Geen alcohol”, a prevention program for parents and elementary schoolchildren targeted at delaying the age of alcohol onset of Dutch youth. Our Team: PhD Candidate – Suzanne Mares MSc, Promoter – Rutger Engels, Daily Supervisor – Anna Lichtwarck-Aschoff. Cooperation with Trimbos Institute (www.trimbos.nl). Summary: The odds of becoming a problem drinker significantly increase for people who have their first drink at a relatively young age. Therefore, it is important to delay this early age of onset with prevention programs for elementary school children. The present research project is a longitudinal randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluating the effects of a recently developed home-based alcohol prevention program, entitled “Hou vol! Geen Alcohol!”. A total of 656 mothers with 11-12 year old children will be involved in the experimental group receiving the intervention, and 656 parent-child dyads will participate in the control condition receiving a regular factsheet information brochure on youth alcohol use and the detrimental consequences of alcohol use for children. The home-based intervention program consists of 5 activity modules, which are attractive magazines including information, puzzles, games and quizzes to be completed by the parent and the child together. We expect that children involved in the intervention will be less likely to start drinking than children in the control group. We also expect parents in the experimental group to use more alcohol-specific socialization strategies than parents of the control group. Recent developments: At the moment, we are collecting the second wave of post-treatment questionnaires. The aim is to finish this wave before the summer. The last and third post-treatment data collection wave will take place during the fall; Data of the baseline measurement of the project was presented during the biennial meeting of the Society of Research on Adolescence (SRA) in Vancouver, Canada; A summary of a recent publication on the effect of alcohol-specific rules on adolescent alcohol use throughout adolescence was published in het Nederlandse Tijdschrijft voor de Psychiatrie (http://www.tijdschriftvoorpsychiatrie.nl/assets/articles/TvP12-04-p389-394_2.pdf); Outcomes of the pilot study will be presented during the annual meeting of the Society of Prevention Research (SPR) in Washington D.C., USA.