Alcoholism & Addiction

RTI Gets Grant for Childhood Drinking Prevention Program

Researchers at RTI International have been given a $3 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to conduct a study that aims to help prevent children from drinking alcohol at an early age.

The researchers will develop and test a home-based program designed to promote an alcohol-free childhood, in hopes to reduce the number of children who start using alcohol by sipping on others’ drinks.

"Many parents think that letting children sip drinks will prevent risky drinking during the teenage years," said Christine Jackson, of the Community Health Promotion Research program in the Public Health and Environment division at RTI.

“However, research indicates that this is not the case. Starting alcohol use during childhood, even at very low levels, is strongly associated with habitual alcohol use and high-risk alcohol use during adolescence."

The researchers will follow the participants for four years to see if the children in the program are significantly less likely to being drinking alcohol than those who didn’t participate.

The study is being conducted in collaboration with Susan Ennett, a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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