Family and Guardian Resources

Parents and families have a significant influence over their student's attitudes and behaviors related to alcohol and other drugs, but sometimes hesitate to have conversations because they don't know where to start. These resources may help you begin conversations about your expectations for your student and open a line of communication for ongoing discussions over your student's college career.


College Parents Matter, by the Maryland Collective

7 Tips for Good Communication (with your college student about alcohol use)


Policy remains far ahead of the research in regard to marijuana use. In Iowa, it is against state law to buy, sell, possess, or use marijuana. Furthermore, smoking marijuana indoors violates the Iowa Clean Air Act of 2007.

While there is much research yet to be done, the College Life Study by Amelia Arria suggests that marijuana is likely to interfere with the academic success of college students, particularly in their first year.

Mental Health

Some students may have identified mental health challenges before leaving for college while other students may experience the emergence of them during there time as college. Open conversations about mental health concerns and resources for mental health promotion increase students' likelihood of navigating college successfully. The LA Times has a great article to assist in starting this conversation.

The JED foundation, a non-profit whose mission is to protect the emotional health and prevent suicide in our nations' teens and young adults, provides this resource for college-bound students and their families. They also have resources on how to start the conversation with your student (PDF).


Parents and families also often have interest in having discussions with their student and providing resources for them to make intentional and safer choices regarding relationships. You student is still looking to you for advice, support, and expectations.

Here is a tip sheet provided by NSVRC on talking with your student about consent and healthy relationships.

On campus, we provide student leaders with S.E.X. 2nd edition: The All-You-Need-to-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties by Heather Corinna. Your student might find it useful to have a copy. An additional resource provided by the Washington Post is an article entitled The sex talk isn't enough: How parents can teach teens about healthy relationships.

Take the time to find out more about specific sexual respect promotion and sexual misconduct prevention efforts at Grinnell College, as well as about a range of resources.

Have questions about any of these resources? Feel free to email Jen Jacobsen '95, director of wellness and prevention.