Reactions to a concept for physician intervention in adolescent alcohol use

J Adolesc Health. 2007 Jul;41(1):35-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.02.008. Epub 2007 May 3.


Purpose: This study was designed to understand adolescent and parental perceptions, receptivity, and reactions to the concept of screening and brief intervention that primary care physicians can use to reduce alcohol consumption by their non-alcohol-dependent adolescent patients.

Methods: A total of six nation-wide computer-assisted telephone focus groups were conducted; three with low-to-moderate risk for alcohol problems adolescents aged 15-17 years and three with parents of such adolescents.

Results: Parents and adolescents held similar views on the prevalence and harms of adolescent alcohol consumption, but different levels of concern about them. After initial surprise and needed dispelling of misconceptions, all groups expressed interest, support, and suggestions for the concept of a physician-initiated, office-based intervention to address younger adolescent alcohol use.

Conclusions: Because both adolescents and parents of adolescents expressed interest in this type of intervention, physicians should be aware of this receptivity and consider focus group findings in how to structure development of a potential counseling-based intervention. Prior education about the target and nature of the intervention is necessary, lest adolescents and parents assume--incorrectly--that it is about doctors preaching to high-risk adolescents to stop drinking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Physicians
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States