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Parental communication appears not to be an effective strategy to reduce smoking in a sample of Dutch adolescents

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This longitudinal study examined the reciprocal effects of the frequency of parent-adolescent communication on tobacco-related issues (smoking-specific communication), and adolescents' smoking. Participants were 428 Dutch older and younger siblings between 13 and 16 years old. Smoking-specific communication did not affect youth smoking in general; however, among younger, but not older, siblings, smoking-specific communication was associated with a higher likelihood of smoking over time. In addition, when adolescents already smoked parents started to talk more frequently about smoking-related issues with their older and younger adolescents later on. Neither the quality of smoking-specific communication, the quality of parent-adolescent relationship, nor parental smoking moderated these reciprocal effects. In conclusion, prevention campaigns encouraging parents to undertake smoking-specific communication might not be desirable.
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Keywords: adolescent; communication; smoking; smoking-specific parenting

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Interdisciplinary Social Science, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands 2: Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands 3: Department of Child & Adolescent Studies, University, Utrecht, Netherlands

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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