'Communicative fathers' help reduce teenage smoking

Apr 14, 2010

Children who talk to their fathers about the issues that are important to them are less likely to take up smoking during early adolescence, a Cardiff University study has found.

Dr James White from Cardiff University's School of Medicine undertook a three-year-study, involving some 3,500 11 to 15 year-olds, as part of the British Youth Panel Survey - a self report survey of children in the British Household Panel survey.

Results indicated that one of the strongest protective factors for reducing the risk of experimenting with smoking in early adolescence was how often fathers talked with their children, both boys and girls, about 'things that mattered'.

Dr White, who presents his findings to the British Psychological Society's Annual Conference today (Thursday 15th April) said: "This study suggests that a greater awareness of parents' and especially fathers' potential impact upon their teenagers' choices about whether to smoke is needed. Fathers should be encouraged and supported to improve the quality and frequency of communication with their children during adolescence.

"The impact of teenager parenting is relatively un-researched and further research is very much needed."

Only children who had never smoked at the time the study began took part. As well as their smoking, the children were also asked about the frequency of parental communication, arguments with family members and the frequency of family meals.

The frequency of family arguments and meals did not have a significant effect.

After three years, the responses of who had remained non were compared to those who said they had experimented with smoking at some point.

Recognised risk factors for smoking, such as age, participant sex, , parental monitoring and parental smoking, were all taken into account during analysis of the study's findings.

Explore further: Testosterone testing has increased in recent years

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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.

Germany: Every fifth adolescent smokes

Apr 23, 2008

As many as 20% of adolescents from 11 to 17 years of age smoke. This was the result of the nationwide German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS), performed by the Robert Koch Institute ...

Recommended for you

More aging boomers, but fewer doctors to care for them

2 hours ago

By 2030, the last of the Baby Boomer generation will have turned 65 years old, putting the population of "senior boomers" in the United States at approximately 71 million. Currently, only about 7,000 certified geriatricians – ...

UK study examines communication and end-of-life decisions

2 hours ago

For many people, talking about end-of-life decisions can be very difficult. Although making choices about health care at the end of life is an important outcome of these conversations, recent research suggests that talking ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.