Parental knowledge about alcohol consumption 2012-14: In Fact

Parental knowledge about alcohol consumption, 2012…
01 May 2016

Parental attitudes and behaviour towards alcohol are important factors that influence adolescent attitudes and decisions about alcohol use (Hingson & White, 2014). Parental monitoring and involvement is strongly associated with protective effects on adolescent alcohol use (Hayes, Smart, Toumbourou & Sanson, 2004; White, Walton & Walker, 2015). In New Zealand in 2012, over half (54%) of secondary school student drinkers reported "parents give it to me" as a source of obtaining alcohol to drink (Ameratunga et al, 2011).

The Health Promotion Agency’s (HPA’s) Youth Insights Survey (YIS) monitors Year 10 students’ behaviours, attitudes, and knowledge on a range of health-related topics, including alcohol consumption. Year 10 students are predominantly aged between 14 and 15 years.

This fact sheet reports on alcohol consumption without parental knowledge and changes in this from 2012 for Year 10 respondents in the YIS.


Respondents in the 2014 YIS were asked whether they had consumed alcohol without their parents or caregivers knowing about it. Responses were examined by gender and ethnicity (Māori, compared with non-Māori). This question was also asked in the 2012 YIS. Further analyses were therefore undertaken to assess any change over time.

In addition, parental knowledge about alcohol consumption and high-risk alcohol consumption1 by respondents was examined for any association. Only statistically significant differences (p < .05) between groups are reported here. Further methodological detail can be found in the ‘About the Youth Insights Survey’ section of this fact sheet.

Key Results

  • In 2014, more than half (57%) of Year 10 students who had ever consumed alcohol consumed it on some or all occasions without their parents or caregivers knowing about it.
  • The proportion of Year 10 students who reported consuming alcohol on some or all occasions without their parents or caregivers knowing about it was unchanged from 2012 to 2014.
  • Year 10 students who consumed alcohol without their parents’ or caregivers’ knowledge were more likely to have ever consumed five or more alcohol drinks in one session than students who had not consumed alcohol without parental knowledge.
Page last modified: 15 Mar 2018