3 Keys to Successful Communication About Alcohol

Watch these videos to find out some students' choices related to alcohol and possible parental impact.


Research suggests that student socializing patterns are often established in the first six weeks of their first year on campus. Factors that can influence high-risk behaviors within a social setting include group drinking norms.


The effectiveness of your communication about alcohol is reflective of the relationship you have with your sons and daughters. Is there a pattern of open communication in your relationship? Have you discussed difficult issues with them (i.e. sex, drugs, friends, and especially alcohol use)?


Accurate information about the current drinking scene at college is vital to help parents’ credibility when talking to their sons and daughters about alcohol. If students know their parents are informed, they’re more likely to take what parents say seriously and talk about what they think of drinking.

Research has shown us that as parents understand the characteristics of the drinking scene young adults will be exposed to and talk with them about healthy ways to safely navigate that scene, they can have a profound influence on their sons' and daughters’ decisions. If conversations do not go well, then the relationship may need to be strengthened and different communication skills attempted.


The First Year College Alcohol Profile (CAP) is available at several colleges in the state and is a way for colleges to educate new students about the choices, risks, and consequences of drinking at college. We want you to know the strategies they’ll be taught so you can both add to them as well as reinforce the ones you feel are important for your sons and daughters.

The First Year College Alcohol Profile tailors information to the situations students will experience. You as the parent know your sons and daughters better than anyone else. You can take our strategies and adapt them specifically for your sons and daughters, making the teaching more personal than we ever could as they enter college.