Use of Cigarettes and Alcohol by Preschoolers While Role-playing as Adults

Department of Pediatrics, Dartmouth Medical School, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Lebanon, NH 03756, USA.
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.73). 10/2005; 159(9):854-9. DOI: 10.1001/archpedi.159.9.854
Source: PubMed


To examine preschoolers' attitudes, expectations, and perceptions of tobacco and alcohol use.
Structured observational study. Children used props and dolls to act out a social evening for adults. As part of the role play, each child selected items from a miniature grocery store stocked with 73 different products, including beer, wine, and cigarettes, for an evening with friends.
A behavioral laboratory at the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College.
One hundred twenty children, 2 to 6 years old, participated individually in the role-playing.
Whether or not a child purchased cigarettes or alcohol at the store.
Children purchased a mean of 17 of the 73 products in the store. Thirty-four children (28.3%) bought cigarettes and 74 (61.7%) bought alcohol. Children were more likely to buy cigarettes if their parents smoked (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 3.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20-12.63). Children were more likely to buy beer or wine if their parents drank alcohol at least monthly (adjusted OR, 3.04; 95% CI, 1.02-9.10) or if they viewed PG-13- or R-rated movies (adjusted OR, 5.10; 95% CI, 1.14-22.90). Children's play behavior suggests that they are highly attentive to the use and enjoyment of alcohol and tobacco and have well-established expectations about how cigarettes and alcohol fit into social settings.
The data suggest that observation of adult behavior, especially parental behavior, may influence preschool children to view smoking and drinking as appropriate or normative in social situations. These perceptions may relate to behaviors adopted later in life.

Download full-text


Available from: James D Sargent, Jan 22, 2015
1 Follower
74 Reads
  • Source
    • "In elementary years, children usually have little experience with drinking alcohol (Donovan, 2007). However, elementary schoolchildren already display specific ideas about alcohol and intentions to drink alcohol in the future (Andrews et al., 2008; Dalton et al., 2005). Moreover, favourable alcohol-related cognitions and the intention to drink alcohol during elementary years have been shown to precede actual drinking behaviour in adolescence (Andrews et al., 2008; van der Vorst et al., 2013). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To prevent harmful drinking, it is essential to understand factors that promote alcohol use at an early age. The aim of the present study was to examine the role of parental alcohol use in children’s selection of alcoholic beverages in a virtual reality (VR) environment and their intentions to drink in the future. Participants were 7–13-year-old children (N = 127) who filled out questionnaires and participated in a VR computer game paradigm in which they were asked to select food and beverages for their parents and themselves. Children’s selection of alcoholic beverages and their intentions to drink alcohol in the future were measured. Children who reported heavier parental drinking selected more alcoholic beverages for their parents and displayed greater intentions to drink alcohol. Children’s responses in virtual reality explained incremental variance in children’s intentions to drink. Implications and limitations are discussed.
    Journal of Substance Use 12/2013; 19(6). DOI:10.3109/14659891.2013.852257 · 0.48 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "During adolescence, parents still affect the behaviour of their child while the influence of friends increases. For example, children from smoking families have more positive attitudes towards smoking compared to children from non-smoking ones (Dalton et al., 2005; de Leeuw, Engels, et al., 2010). During adolescence, peer attitudes influence children's attitudes (Smet, Maes, De Clercq, Haryanti, & Djati Winarno, 1999). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to test whether maternal smoking-specific communication and parental smoking related to smoking cognitions (i.e. attitude, self-efficacy and social norm) derived from the Theory of Planned Behaviour in association with smoking onset during preadolescence. A total of 1478 pairs of mothers and children participated (mean age: 10.11; standard deviation = 0.78). Structural equation models in Mplus were used to examine whether smoking-specific communication influences children's smoking cognitions, which in turn, affect smoking onset. A positive association was found between pro-smoking attitudes and smoking onset. Smoking-specific communication and parental smoking were related to smoking cognitions. Specifically, frequency of communication was negatively associated with pro-smoking attitudes, social norms of mother and best friend. Quality of communication related negatively to pro-smoking attitudes and positively to self-efficacy and norms of friends. Parental smoking was positively associated with pro-smoking attitudes and norms of mother and (best) friends. Additionally, more frequent communication and higher levels of parental smoking were associated with higher smoking onset. In conclusion, smoking-specific communication and parental smoking were associated with smoking cognitions and smoking onset. Already during preadolescence, parents contribute to shaping the smoking cognitions of their children, which may be predictive of smoking later in life.
    Psychology & Health 04/2012; 27(9):1100-17. DOI:10.1080/08870446.2012.677846 · 1.95 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "That socialization did not account for similarity among early-adolescents' drinking behaviors provides some evidence that peers are not necessarily the source of initial alcohol use in peer networks. This suggests that prevention efforts should not only target children in primary schools to discourage these initial selection effects, but programs should concentrate on other factors, such as parenting (and family) behaviors, to delay early onset of alcohol use (Dalton et al., 2005; Koutakis et al., 2008; Pieters et al., 2010; van der Vorst et al., 2010). Intervention efforts meant to curb peer socialization of alcohol use should focus on middle adolescents. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study examined developmental trends of peer selection and socialization related to friends' alcohol use in early-, middle-, and late-adolescent peer networks, with the primary goal of identifying when these mechanisms emerge, when these mechanisms exert their strongest effects, and when (or if) they decrease in importance. Gender and reciprocity are also tested as moderators of selection and socialization. Cross-sequential study (three age cohorts assessed at three annual measurements) of 950 youth (53% male) initially attending classrooms in Grade 4 (n = 314; M = 10.1 years), Grade 7 (n = 335; M = 13.1 years), and Grade 10 (n = 301; M = 16.2 years). Similarity between friends' drinking behaviors emerged in Grade 6, peaked in Grade 8, and decreased throughout late adolescence. Adolescents in all three age groups selected peers with similar drinking behaviors, with effects being more robust for early-adolescent males and for late-adolescent females. Peers' alcohol use emerged as a significant predictor of middle-adolescent alcohol use and remained a significant predictor of individual drinking behaviors throughout late adolescence. Socialization did not differ as a function of gender or reciprocity. Alcohol-related peer selection was relatively more important than socialization in early-adolescent friendship networks; both mechanisms contributed to explaining similarity between the drinking behaviors of friends in middle and late adolescence. Effects of peer socialization emerged in middle adolescence and remained throughout late adolescence.
    Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 01/2012; 73(1):89-98. DOI:10.15288/jsad.2012.73.89 · 2.76 Impact Factor
Show more