Smoking, teens and their parents: New research

Nov 24, 2008

A new study found that adolescents were at the greatest risk of smoking when their parents began smoking at an early age and the parents' smoking quickly reached high levels and persisted over time.

The study, published in the November issue of Health Psychology, draws from the long-running Indiana University Smoking Survey and builds on previous research that suggests smoking behavior is influenced by both genetics and the environment.

"This particular study focuses more on the genetic influence in the specific case of a parent's smoking behavior impacting a teenage son or daughter's smoking," said Jon Macy, project director of the IU Smoking Survey in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. "The study findings suggest that the characteristics of early onset and high levels of long-term smoking are great candidates for behavioral and molecular genetic studies of the causes of smoking and how smoking behavior is passed from one generation to the next.

"Of course, environmental influences on adolescents such as parenting practices, availability of cigarettes in the home, and parents' attitudes about smoking are equally as important and can be addressed with effective public health interventions including family-based smoking prevention programs."

Previous studies, many of which relied on parents' current smoking status only, offered mixed results about whether parental smoking is predictive of adolescent smoking. The current study, however, used longitudinal data to identify more detailed information about parental smoking behaviors such as amount of smoking, speed of escalation, peak of use and persistence over time.

The IU Smoking Survey, a 28-year longitudinal study of the natural history of cigarette smoking, is the longest running study of its kind. Researchers began collecting data in 1980 from middle and high school students in Monroe County, Ind. Researchers continue to collect data from participants and have now started surveying their children.

"This study used a more informative description of parental smoking behaviors," Macy said. "We've found that these descriptions might do a better job than current parental smoking status of predicting risk of their adolescent children starting to smoke."

Source: Indiana University

Explore further: CDC charges Johns Hopkins to lead development of Ebola training module

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microsoft beefs up security protection in Windows 10

4 hours ago

What Microsoft users in business care deeply about—-a system architecture that supports efforts to get their work done efficiently; a work-centric menu to quickly access projects rather than weather readings ...

US official: Auto safety agency under review

16 hours ago

Transportation officials are reviewing the "safety culture" of the U.S. agency that oversees auto recalls, a senior Obama administration official said Friday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been criticized ...

Out-of-patience investors sell off Amazon

17 hours ago

Amazon has long acted like an ideal customer on its own website: a freewheeling big spender with no worries about balancing a checkbook. Investors confident in founder and CEO Jeff Bezos' invest-and-expand ...

Ebola.com domain sold for big payout

17 hours ago

The owners of the website Ebola.com have scored a big payday with the outbreak of the epidemic, selling the domain for more than $200,000 in cash and stock.

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

Oct 24, 2014

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments : 0