Alcohol Education Guide
to Reducing Harmful Drinking

In Control: No Alcohol!



Implementer: The Trimbos Institute 

Partners: The Dutch Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw)

Program Overview: 'In Control: No Alcohol!' is a program based on socialization and communication theories, which targets elementary school children and their mothers in order to reduce alcohol-related problems among children later in life. The program was influenced by an earlier program called 'Smoke-Free Kids'.

Program Design: The program consists of five magazines sent out on a monthly basis over the course of five months. The magazines aim to impress upon parents the importance of communication, rule setting, and monitoring. They cover the following 5 topics;

  1. General information about alcohol, alcohol use among children, and the importance of parenting behavior such as anti-alcohol norms and parental supervision
  2. The risks of alcohol use, especially among children, and parental attitudes toward early drinking
  3. Parental modeling of alcohol use and the effectiveness of setting rules about alcohol
  4. Enhancing awareness about peer influence and increasing the ability to handle peer pressure
  5. The influence of alcohol-related media

The magazines also include information for parents as well as games and puzzles for children.

Evaluation: The program was carried out in 33 Dutch schools among 218 mothers and their fifth-grade children. These mother and children pairs were randomly assigned to either a control group or an intervention group. The intervention group received the 5 magazines, while the control group received one brochure on alcohol and parenting. Subsequently parents completed two questionnaires, the first of which was sent 1 month before the intervention started and the second of which was sent 1 month after the intervention was completed. 

Key findings: The questionnaires demonstrated that intervention families showed an increase in alcohol-related communication and that intervention mothers were more likely to set up non-drinking contracts with their children and to monitor their children more closely.  However, an increase in the quality of communication was only observed for mothers' who used alcohol at above-average levels. 


  1. Mares, S. H., van der Vorst, H., Vermeulen-Smit, E., Lichtwarck-Aschoff, A., Verdurmen, J. E., & Engels, R. C. (2012). Results of the ‘In control: No alcohol!’ Pilot Study. Health Education Research, 27(2), 214-225.

Target Audience: Elementary school (10 years and younger), Parents
Issues: Underage Drinking
Setting: Family and home environments, Media (including social media)
Approach: Multi-Component
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