Setting Clear Expectations Helps Teens Resist Peer Pressure

With the start of the new school year, families and teens will soon face hectic schedules, unfamiliar surroundings and even new social pressures. As teens work to overcome these many new challenges, keeping an open, honest dialogue at home is one of the best ways parents can provide support and positively influence important decisions teens will make, including resisting peer pressure to drink when underage.

We encourage parents to talk with teens about making smart decisions, including those that impact their lives beyond the classroom.  Seventy-four percent of teens see parents as their number one source of advice about alcohol use.  Though peer pressure can be difficult for teens, as a parent, your involvement has a significant impact on your child's decisions. 

Progress is being made to prevent underage drinking.  The national 2010 Monitoring the Future Study reports record-low levels for past-month drinking among 10th and 12th graders. The 10th grade past-month drinking rate has declined 32 percent since tracking began in 1991.  Past-month drinking among high school seniors has declined 40 percent since tracking began in 1975.  But there is still work to be done.  Here in Tompkins County*, 29% of 10th graders and 45% of 12th graders report past-month use of alcohol. 

It's our responsibility to help guide youth in making smart decisions about alcohol to ensure the progress persists. For facts, tips, and conversation starters, visit

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Community Coalition for Healthy Youth

c/o Tompkins County Youth Services Dept.

320 W. ML King Jr./State St., Ithaca



*Source:  2010 Youth Development Survey, visit to see report