The Örebro Prevention Program’s (OPP’s) goal is to increase and maintain parents’ restrictive and prohibitory attitudes toward underage drinking starting when their children are in their teens. This is accomplished through structured presentations at the parent meetings at their child’s school.
OPP targets all parents of youths ages 13–16 and indirectly the youths themselves. The prevention program is aimed at increasing and maintaining strict attitudes and decreasing permissiveness toward underage drinking.
Following an initial 30-minute presentation that describes OPP, the program is delivered to the parents through structured 20-minute presentations during parent meetings in school—once each semester. Each presentation has the goal of increasing and maintaining parents’ restrictive attitudes toward underage drinking. Participating parents are encouraged to adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward youth drinking and to communicate this message clearly to their children. Program staff present parents with information on how common underage drinking is during ages 10–18 and the potential short- and long-term consequences of it—such as violence, drug use, and unprotected sex.
After OPP staff present parents with information and earlier research, they tell the parents that they are still very influential in their children’s attitudes and behaviors. Their views and attitudes toward drinking will shape their children’s attitudes and behavior.
Next, OPP staff provide parents with concrete methods to set rules about underage drinking and to communicate their attitudes. Parents are encouraged to consider setting some rules concerning their children’s conduct in regard to alcohol and even to create a contract that both parents and child sign outlining those alcohol-specific rules. Parents are also encouraged to get their children involved in organized activities, giving them a prosocial activity to do instead of drinking with their peers.
After each parent meeting, all parents are mailed a brief summary of the meeting, reinforcing what was discussed. In addition, throughout the school year brochures describing community events and organized activities are mailed to parents.
OPP was developed on the assumption that interventions that target the family are effective at reducing underage drinking. Strict parental attitudes and disapproval of underage drinking are thought to have an impact on youths' drinking behavior. Permissive attitudes toward drinking are actually more important than the drinking behavior of parents themselves. Another key factor is involving youths with organized activities. OPP operates on the belief that parental attitudes can affect their children's behavior and that occupying children's time with organized activities will lower rates of underage drinking.