Choosing adolescent smokers as friends: The role of parenting and parental smoking

Department of Health Promotion, Maastricht University, The Netherlands. Electronic address: .
Journal of Adolescence (Impact Factor: 2.05). 01/2013; 36(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2012.12.004
Source: PubMed


The present study examined whether parenting and parental smoking can prevent children from selecting smoking friends during adolescence. 254 Adolescents of one Belgian secondary school participated. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed among 2nd-4th graders (mean ages = 14.2-16.2 years) during spring 2006. Follow-up was conducted 12 months later. Data was analyzed conducting longitudinal social network analyses. Results showed adolescents perceiving high parental psychological control had a significant higher tendency to select smoking friends. Perceived behavioral control and perceived parental support did not affect the selection of smoking friends. Furthermore, maternal smoking behavior affected the selection of smoking friends, although no effect of paternal smoking behavior on the selection of smoking friends was found. Adolescent smoking prevention efforts should focus on the influence of parents through their smoking behavior and their psychological control to decrease adolescents' tendency to select smoking friends resulting in fewer opportunities for negative peer influences to occur.


Available from: Liesbeth Mercken
    • "The most important of them was the smoking status of parents, friends, and classmates (Conrad et al., 1992; Tyas and Pederson, 1998; Kremers et al., 2001). It is well documented that parents have a principal role in modeling and promoting the development of their children's behavior (Mercken et al., 2013), including smoking (Harakeh et al., 2005; Peterson et al., 2006; Bricker et al., 2007). Adolescents who regularly see their parents smoking develop the perception that smoking is a normal and are more likely to start smoking (Bricker et al., 2007). "
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