How have our attitudes toward alcohol changed?
That is the question that a new voluntary survey that students, parents, and community members living in the 10465 zip code are being asked to complete as the first part of a five-year-study being undertaken by non-profit Throggs Neck Community Action Partnership.
The survey hits the streets soon, and will be taken to local schools, including Lehman High School. It is the first comprehensive study of attitudes towards alcohol for teenagers that have ever been undertaken in the Throggs Neck, Country Club, Spencer Estate, Locust Point, Edgewater Park and Silver Beach communities.
The study will be paid for by a grant from the state’s Prevention First-NY! program, which received a $10 million to conduct to fund research all over New York State from the Center For Substance Abuse Prevention in Washington D.C.
The overall goal is the same as TNCAP’s mission: to prevent the onset of abuse of alcohol in young people and build resources for raising healthy kids and young adults.
“The focus on high school students is different from the work that we have done before because we are targeting the 10465 zip code and we have never really keyed in on that population before,” said Janit Bliss, coordinator of community programs. “We have done these kind of surveys before with younger children in individual schools, but this really hones in on the 10465 zip code, which should give us a really specific picture.”
The first year of the five-year program will focuses on assessing the attitudes of teenagers and parents, interviewing community leaders, and conducting focus groups that will really see if there are changes in the way high school age students and their parents view substances like alcohol, finding out whether there are more permissive attitudes or not.
“There may be some businesses that are unwittingly selling to minors, and there may be families that see alcohol as the least of many dangers, or better than drugs,” Maturo said “We don’t want to assume it, but we want to get that data or information.”
The survey is the first step in getting scientific types of data that will be qualitative and quantitative, using statistical tools that will analyze trends. The 10465 zip code and the Bronx and New York City possess some unique challenges in terms of keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors.