Washington, DC — According to the 2005 Monitoring The Future Study, since 1992 underage drinking is down for both girls and boys — underage alcohol consumption among 8th grade, 10th grade and 12th grade boys and girls measured by lifetime consumption, annual consumption and thirty day consumption are all down. Since 1991, The Century Council, a national not-for-profit organization funded by America’s leading distilled spirits producers, has been at the forefront of developing cutting edge programs to help fight underage drinking among our nation’s youth. In particular, the Council has long recognized the unique consequences and challenges faced by our nation’s teenage girls. Recognizing the key role that mothers play in teenagers’ decision to drink, or not, the Council commissioned research among mothers and daughters on the issue of underage drinking. The data showed that mothers of teenage daughters underestimate the occurrence of underage drinking among their own daughters and misjudge the seriousness of the issue. To address this gap in knowledge and understanding of the prevalence of underage drinking, The Century Council announced the release of a new program, Girl Talk: Choices and Consequences of Underage Drinking.Significant survey findings include the following:
Mothers significantly underestimate daughter’s experience with alcohol
• 16% of 13-15 year old girls say they drink with friends, only 5% of their mothers think their daughters are drinking;
• 30% of 16-18 year old girls say they drink with friends, only 9% of their mothers think their daughters are drinking;
• 51% of 19-21 year old girls say they drink with friends and only 32% of their mothers thought they were drinking.
Alarmingly, mothers say underage drinking is acceptable
• Nearly half (49%) of mothers of teenage girls say it is okay for their daughters to drink;
• 38% of mothers say it is okay for their daughters to drink on special occasions;
• 21% of mothers say it is okay to drink under parental supervision at home;
• 20% of mothers say drinking alcohol is a natural part of growing up.
“These data illustrate a disturbing misperception among moms about the seriousness of problems associated with alcohol consumption by their teenage daughters,” said Century Council Chairman, Susan Molinari.
Released in December 2005, The Century Council launched a new public awareness campaign entitled, Girl Talk: Choices and Consequences of Underage Drinking, to improve dialogue among mothers and daughters and prevent underage drinking. The campaign is designed to help mothers initiate and sustain conversations about alcohol. The program includes:
• A website, www.girlsanddrinking.org, for mothers and daughters;
• Booklets for mothers, detailing how to begin and sustain the conversation;
• A Blog, under construction;
• A media partnership with The N, a nighttime network for teens.
Featured on NBC’s Today Show, among others, to date, Girl Talk’s message has reached millions of mothers and daughters across the country.
Girl Talk is in keeping with the Council’s long history of developing content specific to young women including video segments and health messages featured in Alcohol 101 Plus (2001) and its predecessor program Alcohol 101 (1997). For more information about The Century and its programs visit www.centurycouncil.org
REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE CENTURY COUNCIL ARE AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW AND COMMENT
CONTACT MARIA TILDON 202.637.0077
Launched in 1991, The Century Council is funded by America's leading distillers. The Council's mission is to promote responsible decision-making regarding beverage alcohol and discourage all forms of irresponsible consumption through education, communications, research, law enforcement and other programs. For more information on the Council, log onto www.centurycouncil.org.
The Century Council