Learning Objectives: Understand how specific qualities of the parent-adolescent relationship may reduce the risk adolescent smoking, despite peer influences and limited adult supervision after school.
Abstract: Numerous studies suggest that the family context plays an important role in adolescent smoking. Such studies have indicated that specific qualities of the parent-adolescent relationship (e.g., high parental monitoring and high parental attachment) are associated with lower rates of adolescent smoking. It is also widely known that peers’ smoking behaviors are strongly associated with adolescent smoking behaviors. Relative to this work, there are few studies that examine whether parental monitoring and parental attachment lower the risk of adolescent smoking despite peers’ smoking behaviors and child self-care after school.
The purpose of this study was to examine whether parental monitoring and parental attachment mediate the relationships between child self-care, peer smoking behaviors, and adolescent smoking. An ethnically diverse sample of healthy 6th graders (n=2717; 52.6% female; mean age=11.3) in Southern California completed a self-administered survey during one class period. Controlling for the effects of parental smoking behaviors, age, gender, family structure, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, logistic regression analyses on adolescent lifetime smoking were conducted with and without the proposed mediating variables.
Results revealed that child self-care and peers’ smoking were risk factors for adolescent smoking. Parental monitoring and parental attachment had strong mediating effects on the child self-care/ adolescent smoking relationship, and weak mediating effects on the peer smoking/ adolescent smoking relationship. The findings suggest that both the family and the peer context should be considered in future health-related interventions.
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