Power of Parents

National Presenting Sponsor: Nationwide Insurance

Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence®

Executive Summary

Did You Know?

       1 in 3 8th graders drinks alcohol.

       1 in 5 teens binge drink. 

       Only 1 in 100 parents believe his or her child binge drinks.

       Teen alcohol use kills about 6,000 people each year, more than all illegal drugs combined.

 About MADD

Founded by a mother who lost her daughter in a crash, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking.  With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on American roads.  And, Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence® offers research-proven strategies to help parents keep their children safe from the dangers of underage drinking.  One of the largest victim services organizations in theU.S., MADD also supports drunk driving victims and survivors – serving one person every 10 minutes – at no charge. To learn more about MADD, please visit madd.org or call 1-800-GET-MADD. If you are a victim/survivor, call 1-877-MADD-HELP.

 Parent Initiative

In response to scientific evidence that parental influence can reduce underage drinking, MADD began a parent initiative: Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence®. The parent initiative includes two components:

  1. An interactive Parent Website (thepowerofparents.org): the site was launched in 2008 and contains information on underage drinking prevention that is based on peer-reviewed research. Parents can find tips to help keep their teens and community safe and have the opportunity to submit questions to research experts in the alcohol prevention field.
  2. Community-Based Program (Parent Handbook): MADD has partnered with Dr. Turrisi and adapted his handbook model to reach parents of high school students. The parent handbook will be available free to communities through the website and through 30-minute Parent Workshops facilitated by trained MADD staff and volunteers.

Why parents?

Research shows that parents are the leading influence on kids’ decisions about drinking alcohol. 

As a marketing arm to Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence®, MADD has designated April 21st as a national day to encourage parents to be intentional about communicating with their kids about alcohol and underage drinking. The month of April is a key time of the year—before prom, graduation, and summer break—when these conversations are very needed and when parents request help from organizations, such as MADD, to provide them with credible resources to engage teens in a potentially life-saving conversation. Annually, April 21st (21 emphasizes the minimum drinking age laws), will be a day where schools and community partners can come together to equip parents with the tools they need to have the crucial conversation about alcohol with their kids. More details about this national day coming soon. 


The goals of MADD’s parent initiative are to influence parenting behavior to prevent underage drinking, build capacity by reaching more adults, and maintain the 21 minimum drinking age law in all 50 states.

Future additions include programs for parents of Elementary, Middle, and College students as well as school-based awareness efforts that support the parent program. Through community partners and field offices, this community-based program and website provide ongoing opportunity to fulfill MADD’s mission to stop drunk driving, support victims of this violent crime, and prevent underage drinking.


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