Parent ads in the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign

Michael T. Stephenson, Brian L. Quick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign aims not only to reduce drug use by teens and preteens, but also to arm parents with knowledge about specific parenting practices known to reduce the risk of teen drug use. Among the documented successes of the campaign to date was a small, but direct effect on some parenting practices, including parent-child discussions about drug use. To reach a deeper understanding about the substance of the parental ads, we content analyzed the message strategies employed in the campaign's parent ads over the inaugural 5 years of the campaign. Each ad was coded for its major theme, minor subtheme, and featured drug. Among seven possible major themes, the parental anti-drug ads largely featured four: enhance the risk of their child's drug use, encourage monitoring practices, promote parent-child discussions about drug use, or advocate positive involvement behaviors. Moreover, most parental messages addressed marijuana use or addressed drug use in general. Marijuana and inhalant ads largely were risk based, while general drug messages focused on monitoring, parent-child discussions or positive involvement practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-710
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences


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