Parents as friendship-formation gatekeepers: Parental smoking-specific communication and adolescents’ friendships
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SourceHealth Psychology Review, 1, 1, (2007), pp. 76-77
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OGG
SW OZ BSI BO
Health Psychology Review
Research Question: The aim of this study was to investigate whether parental smoking-specific communication and parental smoking affect adolescents in their friendship-selection processes (i.e., their affiliation with smoking or non-smoking friends). Furthermore, we investigated whether adolescents and their best friends influence each other’s smoking over time, and what roles parental smoking-specific communication and parental smoking play in this process. Method: A total of 614 adolescents participated in our three-wave longitudinal study. Analyses were conducted by means of Structural Equation Modelling. Results: Results demonstrated that a high quality of parental smoking-specific communication was related to a lower likelihood of adolescent smoking, whereas the frequency of communication was associated to a higher likelihood of adolescent smoking. Parental smoking did not significantly affect adolescent smoking longitudinally when controlling for smoking-specific communication. On the other hand, parental smoking did affect the quality of smoking-specific communication negatively. Both the quality and frequency of smoking-specific communication predicted adolescents’ selective affiliations with smoking peers. However, when adolescents affiliated with the same friends over a longer period of time, parental smoking-specific communication was unrelated to their smoking. Conclusion: The findings suggest that parental smoking-specific communication affects adolescent smoking directly but also indirectly by influencing the friends the adolescents will associate with. However, the timing of these conversations seems to be essential: Parents should start talking about smoking before their child establishes a stable friendship.
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