CrimeSolutions.gov

Additional Resources:

Program Profile: Örebro Prevention Program

Evidence Rating: Promising - One study Promising - One study

Date: This profile was posted on June 15, 2011

Program Summary

A Swedish alcohol and delinquency prevention program designed to decrease underage drinking and delinquency by increasing parents’ restrictive and prohibitory attitudes. The program is rated Promising. The program reduced delinquency in the treatment group. Posttest results showed participant parents became significantly stricter in permissiveness of underage drinking. Alcohol use increased for both adolescent groups over time; however, the control group had a much steeper and greater increase.

Program Description

Program Goals
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.

 

Target Population/Eligibility
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.

 

Program Activities

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.

Program Theory

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.

Evaluation Outcomes

top border

Study 1
Parental Attitudes

Koutakis, Stattin, and Kerr (2008) report that parents in the treatment group—those receiving the Örebro Prevention Program (OPP)—at baseline were significantly less strict in their attitudes and more permissive of underage drinking than parents in the control group. At posttest, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) results revealed that OPP parents became significantly stricter in permissiveness than control group parents. Additionally, parents in the control group became more lenient and permissive during the same period. However, neither the OPP parents nor the control group parents were able to influence their children to participate in more organized activities.

 

Adolescent Alcohol Use
Alcohol use increased for both groups over time. However, adolescents in the control group had a much steeper and greater increase in alcohol use and drunkenness than those in the intervention group. The proportion of participants who had been drunk several times in the past month was twice as high in the control group as in the intervention group. This effect was statistically significant with a moderate effect size and was similar for both boys and girls.

 

Delinquency
Delinquency increased for both groups over time. However, similar to the results for drunkenness, the treatment group did not increase as quickly or as much as the control group. Adolescents in the control group had significantly higher levels of delinquency than the intervention group at posttest, controlling for baseline levels. This indicates that the OPP reduced delinquency among adolescents in the treatment group. This effect was similar for both boys and girls.


Moderating Effects
There were no significant effects of community type and/or significant interactions suggesting that the effect of OPP varies by the geographical location (e.g., rural, suburban, or urban) in which it is delivered. Additional analyses revealed that the results were not significantly altered by rates of attrition in the sample.

bottom border

Evaluation Methodology

top border

Study 1
Koutakis, Stattin, and Kerr (2008) used a quasi-experimental pre–post intent-to-treat design with matched control groups to assess the effectiveness of the Örebro Prevention Program (OPP) on youth drunkenness and delinquency. Schools were selected based on information from a survey about alcohol use conducted of all 3,094 ninth graders in Örebro County. To discern whether type of community played a role in the program implementation and effects, schools were chosen from rural, suburban, and urban areas. In each area there was one treatment school and one matched control school. Schools were matched based on size of school, type of community, and alcohol use and delinquency (gathered from the countywide survey). The treatment group consisted of 339 parents and 393 youths. Parents received the OPP informational sessions throughout the school year. The control group consisted of 312 parents and 418 youths. These parents received no instruction or encouragement to set strict rules with their children regarding drinking. Parents and youths who refused to participate were evenly distributed across school and conditions, so as not to bias any of the outcomes. The main reason youths did not participate was absence from school because of illness.


Baseline assessment occurred at the beginning of the seventh grade. Follow-ups were completed near the end of the school year in eighth and ninth grades. The total follow-up period was roughly 2½ years. Adolescents completed questionnaires in their classrooms. Parents received questionnaires in the mail about 2 weeks after their child’s assessment. Students and parents were reminded at each assessment that participation was completely voluntary. No incentives were given to parents or youths to participate.


The measurements collected from parents in the study included self-reported attitudes toward drinking, education level, and ethnicity. Measurements collected from adolescents in the study were self-reported involvement in organized activities, drunkenness, and delinquency. Parental attitudes toward drinking were measured by having parents choose a statement that best reflected their attitudes. Statements ranged from lenient (“We trust our son/daughter drinks in a responsible way”) to very strict (“A child our son or daughter’s age is way too young to drink alcohol”). Adolescent measures were reported numbers of organized activities they were involved in, number of times they had been drunk in the past 4 weeks, and number of delinquent acts committed in the past year.


Baseline equivalence between treatment and control groups was determined using t–test for independent groups. To detect changes in alcohol use, drunkenness, and delinquency over time, general linear models were used. When multivariate effects were found to be significant, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to control for baseline differences. ANCOVAs and logistic regression were used to determine the influence of differential attrition on the final outcomes. Chi-square analyses were used to test for group differences in alcohol use and frequent drunkenness.

bottom border

Cost

top border
There is no cost information available for this program.
bottom border

Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)

top border
These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Study 1

Koutakis, Nikolaus, Håkan Stattin, and Margaret Kerr. 2008. “Reducing Youth Alcohol Drinking Through a Parent-Targeted Intervention: The Orebro Prevention Program.” Addiction 103:1629–37.


bottom border


Program Snapshot

Age: 13 - 16

Gender: Both

Geography: Rural, Suburban, Urban

Setting (Delivery): Home, School

Program Type: Parent Training, Alcohol and Drug Prevention

Targeted Population: Families

Current Program Status: Active

Listed by Other Directories: Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development (formerly Blueprints for Violence Prevention)

Program Developer:
Nikolaus Koutakis
Ph.D.
Center for Developmental Research at School of Law, Psychology, and Social Work at Orebro University
S—701 82
Orebro
Phone: 46.19.303000
Fax: 46.19.303484
Website
Email

Researcher:
Nikolaus Koutakis
Ph.D.
Center for Developmental Research at School of Law, Psychology, and Social Work at Orebro University
S—701 82
Orebro
Phone: 46.19.303000
Fax: 46.19.303484
Website
Email

Training and TA Provider:
Nikolaus Koutakis
Ph.D.
Center for Developmental Research at School of Law, Psychology, and Social Work at Orebro University
S—701 82
Orebro
Phone: 46.19.303000
Fax: 46.19.303484
Website
Email