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Article | Parental behaviours, but not parental smoking, influence current smoking and smoking susceptibility among 14 and 15 year-old children

Objective: To explore whether parental behaviours related to smoking socialisation and parenting are associated with smoking susceptibility and current smoking in 14–15 year old students.

Method: Data were sourced from the New Zealand 2006 Year 10 In-depth Survey, a school-based survey of 3,189 students. Outcome measures were susceptibility to smoking and current smoking. Potential determinants were second-hand smoke exposure in the home, parental smoking, parental anti-smoking expectations, anti-smoking rules, pocket money, monitoring of pocket money expenditure, general rule setting and monitoring, and concern about education. Analysis used logistic regression to adjust for potential confounding factors.

Results: Exposure to second-hand smoke and lack of parental anti-smoking expectations were independently associated with smoking susceptibility and current smoking. Parental smoking was not independently associated with current smoking or susceptibility. Receiving pocket money and an absence of monitoring of expenditure were associated with smoking susceptibility and current smoking. Lack of parental rule setting was associated with smoking susceptibility. Findings were similar whether or not one or more parents were smokers.

Conclusions: Not allowing smoking in the home, communicating non-smoking expectations to children, monitoring pocket money, and setting rules to guide behaviour are strategies which are likely to reduce risk of smoking uptake.

Implications: The study provides evidence to inform the development of parent-focused interventions to reduce the risk of smoking initiation by children.

Citation: Waa, A., Edwards, R., Newcombe, R., Zhang, J., Weerasekera, D., Peace, J., & McDuff, I. (2011). To what degree are parental behaviours independently related to current smoking and smoking susceptibility among 14 and 15 year old children? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 35(6), 530-536.