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

Liesbeth Mercken*, Esther Sleddens, Hein de Vries, Christian Steglich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-392
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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