The role of family influences on adolescent smoking in different racial/ethnic groups

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Introduction: Although differing levels of family influences may explain some of the varying racial/ethnic trends in adolescent smoking behavior, clarification of which influences are protective against smoking may aid in the development of future ethnic-specific smoking prevention interventions. We sought to identify and compare the association of family influences on adolescent smoking among Black, Hispanic, and White adolescents in a cross-sectional national sample. Methods: Data from 6,426 parent-child dyads from Round 1 of the National Survey of Parents and Youth were analyzed. The association of family influences with ever-smokers and recent smokers was evaluated. Multinomial logistic regression using SUDAAN software was used. Results: While all measures of family influences except for parent-adolescent activities and intention to monitor were significantly protective against recent smoking and ever smoking among Whites, ethnic-specific family influence predictors of smoking were found in Blacks and Hispanics. Higher parental monitoring, higher intention to monitor, and higher connectedness were protective among Hispanics, while higher parental punishment and favorable attitude toward monitoring were protective against smoking among Blacks. For family influences significantly associated with protection against smoking, consistently greater protection was afforded against recent smoking than against ever smoking. Conclusions: Higher levels of family influences are protective against smoking among all racial/ethnic groups. There are consistencies in family influences on youth smoking; however, there may be specific family influences that should be differentially emphasized within racial/ethnic groups in order to protect against smoking behavior. Our results offer insight for designing strategies for preventing smoking in youth of different racial/ethnic backgrounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-273
Number of pages10
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of family influences on adolescent smoking in different racial/ethnic groups'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this