Education Report Roundup

Parent Survey Tracks Attitudes on Drugs

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — March 08, 2005 1 min read

A smaller majority of parents polled last year had talked to their teenage children about drugs than their parental counterparts just six years earlier had, and the recent respondents were less likely to worry that their children would try illegal drugs such as marijuana, ecstasy, or cocaine, an annual survey shows.

The 17th annual survey of parents by the New York City-based National Partnership for a Drug-Free America found that 12 percent of parents of teenagers in 2004 had not talked to their children about drugs, compared with 6 percent in 1998. In addition, just 51 percent of the 1,200 parents surveyed around the country in 2004 said they would not be upset if their children experimented with marijuana.

Last year’s respondents also had a low perception of the potential dangers of new drugs or the preponderance of experimentation with drugs among American teenagers, the survey shows. For instance, while about one in five parents reported suspecting that their teenagers’ friends had tried marijuana, more than 60 percent of youths reported in the partnership’s 2003 teen survey that their friends use the drug.

A version of this article appeared in the March 09, 2005 edition of Education Week