Parents play a central role in their children's education and social development and therefore can be extremely influential in children's attitudes, decisions and behaviour towards drugs. Despite this, there has been limited research to date which explores the parents' perspective and their needs in the area of drug education. This thesis reports on research which surveyed 92 parents of secondary students (Years 7-10) across ten secondary schools in the Australian Capital Territory. Two follow up focus group sessions, involving fourteen parents of secondary students, were also conducted with self-nominated parents of these respondents. The issues explored in the research include parents' concerns and knowledge of young people and drug issues, and their needs for a drug education program aimed at parents. The results show that parents see their role in drug education as a central one and are concerned about drugs in relation to their children and other young people. They are largely unaware of school drug policies and school drug education programs and want to work in closer partnership with the school and community in educating their children about drug issues. Parents identified a need for accurate and up to date information as they do not have sufficient knowledge in this area. Parents also identified a need to develop skills in dealing with adolescents and drug issues. This study provides insight into a range of parents' views on drug issues and confirms that parents would like to develop both knowledge and skills in order to support young people and reinforce school drug education programs. A number of implications of the results for the involvement of parents in drug education programs are presented, including: parent needs, strategies for delivery/ implementation and motivating factors for encouraging parental participation in such programs.
|Date of Award
|Antionette Ackermann (Supervisor)