The protective effect of parental expectations against early adolescent smoking initiation.Health Educ Res. 2004 Oct; 19(5):561-9.HE
Substantial research and theory suggests that smoking initiation is socially mediated, with both peers and parents playing important roles. To learn more about how parenting behaviors influence smoking initiation, students (n=1002) from four middle schools were surveyed at the beginning of the sixth grade (T1), and the end of the sixth (T2) and seventh (T3) grades. T1 and T2-T1 predictors were regressed on smoking initiation at the end of seventh grade. In bivariate logistic regression analyses, association with friends who smoke, attitudes toward deviance, outcome expectations for smoking, perceived school climate, parental expectations, parental involvement at T1 and increases in these variables (T2-T1) were associated with smoking initiation at T3, but only the T1 measures of social competence, academic engagement, school adjustment, perceived prevalence, parental monitoring and parental involvement were associated with smoking initiation at T3. In multivariate logistic regression analyses, parental expectations were negatively associated, and increases in attitudes accepting of deviance and affiliation with friends who smoke were positively associated with smoking initiation. Analysis of interactions indicated that parental expectations and monitoring did not mediate the effect on smoking initiation of attitudes toward deviance or the number of friends who smoke. These findings provide evidence that parental expectations may protect early adolescents against smoking even in the context of increases in favorable attitudes and friends who smoking.