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Transitioning to the High School Years. A Guide for Parents and Guardians of MVMS 7th & 8th Grade Students. Misperceptions about Marijuana Use. n=295. n=295. n=295. Misperceptions about Alcohol Use. n=295. n=295. n=295. Transitions from MS to HS are Tough!. Changes in environment

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transitioning to the high school years

Transitioning to the High School Years

A Guide for Parents and Guardians of MVMS 7th & 8th Grade Students

transitions from ms to hs are tough
Transitions from MS to HS are Tough!
  • Changes in environment
  • Changes in culture
  • Changes in social circles
  • Desire to fit into the social scene/network
  • Peer pressure
a sobering thought
A Sobering Thought…

Kids who drink before the age of 15 are four times as likely to have alcohol dependence as those who start drinking at age 21.

high school risk factors
High School Risk Factors
  • When kids move to the HS, they generally make new friends… and their parents frequently lose the parent networks surrounding their kids' social lives and activities
  • Many parents stop supervising their kids when they hit 9th grade. There is a lot of social pressure on kids to be completely in control of their schedule, drinking and drugging, becoming sexually active, etc.
  • There is a laissez-faire, "they need to grow up sometime" attitude among many families, who see high school as an appropriate time for kids to be drinking, using, sexually active, etc.
what doesn t work
What Doesn’t Work?
  • “Canned” Programs
  • Activity-Driven Programs
  • School-based Prevention Programs
  • Promoting Changes in Individual Students Rather than in Culture
  • Fear as a Motivator
what works
What Works?
  • Environmental Strategies
  • Data-Driven Prevention Methods
  • School and Community Partnerships
  • Climate Changes
  • Majority Messages as a Motivator
  • Delay Use to age 15 or older
  • Debunk Misperceptions
  • Brain Research: Support 21 as Legal Drinking Age
it s as easy as pie
It’s as Easy as “PIE”


  • Positive
  • Inclusive
  • Empowering
some helpful thoughts
Some helpful thoughts
  • Let your kids know what the rules and guidelines are, and then stick to them
  • Make it clear that you expect to know where your kids are at all times, and that they need to be in settings where there is adult presence or supervision (i.e. after school, evenings, weekends, sleepovers are all big risk times)
  • Party invitations can be accepted after finding out where it is, who the parent is, calling to check if that parent will be present and to clarify rules regarding drug and alcohol use
many thanks to
Many Thanks To…
  • The Southeast Center for Healthy Communities
  • Dukes County Youth Task Force
  • The MV Middle Schools and Administration
  • MVMS Parents and Guardians
  • MA Department of Public Health
  • Massachusetts Attorney Generals Office