Continued importance of family factors in youth smoking behavior

Melinda M. Mahabee-Gittens, Yang Xiao, Judith S. Gordon, Jane C. Khoury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Introduction: Although it is known that levels of family factors (FF) such as parental monitoring and parent-adolescent connectedness vary during adolescence, it is unknown which factors remain protective, preventing smoking initiation, in youth of differing racial/ethnic groups. Using a longitudinal, nationally representative sample, we examined which FF protect against smoking initiation in White, Black, and Hispanic youth. Methods: A total of 3,473 parent-nonsmoking youth dyads from Round 1 (T1) of the National Survey of Parents and Youth were followed to Round 3 (T2). Youth smoking status at T2 was assessed as the primary outcome. We examined changes in FF (T2-T1) and the protection afforded by these factors at T1 and T2 for smoking initiation, both by race/ethnicity and overall. Results: There were statistically significant decreases in levels of protective FF from T1 to T2 across all racial/ethnic groups; however, FF levels were higher in never-smokers compared with smoking initiators at both T1 and T2 (p <.05). Separate models by race/ethnicity showed the protective effect of increased perceived punishment in all racial/ethnic groups and protection against initiation by increased parental monitoring in Black and Hispanic youth. Overall, higher parental monitoring at T1 was associated with decreased odds of smoking initiation (33%); decreased parental monitoring and perceived punishment from T1 to T2 were associated with increased odds of smoking initiation (55% and 17%, respectively). Conclusions: Smoking prevention interventions should encourage parents to both enforce consistent consequences of smoking behavior, and continue monitoring, especially in minority groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbernts078
Pages (from-to)1458-1466
Number of pages9
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Continued importance of family factors in youth smoking behavior'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this