The influence of friends, family, and older peers on smoking among elementary school students: low-risk students in high-risk schools.Prev Med. 2006 Mar; 42(3):218-22.PM
This study examined how older smoking peers at school and the smoking behaviour of friends and family members are related to youth smoking.
Multi-level logistic regression analysis was used to examine correlates of ever smoking in a sample of 4286 grade 6 and 7 students from 57 elementary schools in Ontario, Canada (2001).
Each 1% increase in the smoking rate among grade 8 students increased the odds that a student in grades 6 or 7 was an ever smoker versus never smoker [OR 1.05, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.08]. A low-risk student (no family or friends who smoke) was almost three times more likely to try smoking if he/she attended an elementary school with a relatively high prevalence of senior students who smoke than if he/she attended a school with a low prevalence of senior students who smoke.
Low-risk grade 6 and 7 students are at significantly greater risk of smoking if they attend an elementary school with a relatively high prevalence of smoking among senior students. Prevention programs should target both at-risk schools and at-risk students.