Parental supply of alcohol to under-18s

This research was commissioned as part of a larger project looking to understand parents’ attitudes and approaches towards supplying alcohol to their teenagers aged under 18 years. 

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Commissioning agencies
Date of last publication
Feb 2017
Organisation conducting the research
UMR Research Limited
Research topics


The overall aims of the project were to:

a) Better understand the drivers of parental supply of alcohol to under 18s.

b) Understand what would enable parents to support their children by not supplying alcohol to them.

This will help to inform the development of effective national and community-based approaches to reducing parental supply of alcohol to minors.

More specifically, the project objectives were to:

1. Describe parent/caregiver knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, behaviours and decision-making practices regarding supply of alcohol to under 18s, including their perceptions of parental influence on young people’s alcohol-related attitudes and behaviour.

2. Identify key influences on parent/caregiver supply of alcohol to under 18s, including factors that encourage and support parental supply of alcohol and factors that discourage and act as barriers to parental supply.

3. Explore factors and approaches that would shift parent/caregiver attitudes and behaviours regarding supply of alcohol to under 18s.

4. Identify potential measures for benchmarking and monitoring parental supply, or at least indicators of these, of alcohol to under 18s at national and local levels.


This research included two components:

1. A brief literature scan of:

i. Overseas literature on parents’ attitudes, beliefs, knowledge and behaviours with respect to parental supply of alcohol to minors.

ii. Measures/indicators of parental supply of alcohol.

This review informed refinement of the qualitative research methodology, sample specifications and discussion guide and enabled Objective 4 (above) to be addressed.

The scope of the literature review and associated search strategies was agreed with HPA, who conducted the literature searches and supplied source material to UMR.

2. Qualitative research among parents or guardians of teenagers aged 12-17 years.

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