Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Health Education

ISSN

09654283

Volume

120

Issue

3

First Page

229

Last Page

245

PubMed ID

10.1108/HE-02-2020-0010

Publisher

Emerald

School

School of Medical and Health Sciences

RAS ID

32152

Funders

Healthway

Comments

Gilligan, C., Shaw, T., Beatty, S., Thomas, L., Lombardi, K. L., & Johnston, R. S. (2020). Do schools and alcohol mix? Australian parents' perspectives. Health Education, 120(3), 229-245. https://doi.org/10.1108/HE-02-2020-0010

Abstract

© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: Alcohol use by adults at school events and alcohol promotion through school fundraising activities is common, but little is known about secondary school parents' attitudes towards these practices. Parental attitudes may influence principals' decision-making on this topic, particularly in jurisdictions where education department guidance is limited. This study explored parents' attitudes towards the consumption or promotion of alcohol in schools or at school events. Design/methodology/approach: Parents (n = 298) from five non-government secondary schools in Western Australia completed an online survey and provided responses relating to the promotion and availability of alcohol through their child's school. Findings: This sample of parents were evenly divided in support of alcohol consumption or support of schools as alcohol-free zones. Parents reporting higher alcohol consumption were more supportive of alcohol promotion and use through schools, and those with higher education supported use of alcohol for school fundraising. Almost 20% of parents were neutral on several measures indicating they could be swayed by social pressure. Engaging parents is an ongoing challenge for school principals and alcohol may play a part in engagement activities. The results from this small, exploratory study suggest even engaged parents may have very differing views on alcohol use in schools. Practical implications: Education departments are encouraged to explore these issues carefully and introduce changes incrementally to assist decision-making and minimise potential parent disengagement. Originality/value: This paper addresses a knowledge gap about parents' attitudes towards alcohol in secondary schools. These findings can support those involved in the development of school alcohol policies.

DOI

10.1108/HE-02-2020-0010

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Research Themes

Society and Culture

Priority Areas

Diverse, equitable, informed and productive communities, schools and workplaces

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