Pathways from Parental Knowledge and Warmth to Adolescent Marijuana Use: An Extension to the Theory of Planned Behavior
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- Lac, A., Alvaro, E.M., Crano, W.D. et al. Prev Sci (2009) 10: 22. doi:10.1007/s11121-008-0111-z
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Despite research indicating that effective parenting plays an important protective role in adolescent risk behaviors, few studies have applied theory to examine this link with marijuana use, especially with national data. In the current study (N = 2,141), we hypothesized that parental knowledge (of adolescent activities and whereabouts) and parental warmth are antecedents of adolescents’ marijuana beliefs—attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control—as posited by the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB; Ajzen 1991). These three types of beliefs were hypothesized to predict marijuana intention, which in turn was hypothesized to predict marijuana consumption. Results of confirmatory factor analyses corroborated the psychometric properties of the two-factor parenting structure as well as the five-factor structure of the TPB. Further, the proposed integrative predictive framework, estimated with a latent structural equation model, was largely supported. Parental knowledge inversely predicted pro-marijuana attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control; parental warmth inversely predicted pro-marijuana attitudes and subjective norms, ps < .001. Marijuana intention (p < .001), but not perceived behavioral control, predicted marijuana use 1 year later. In households with high parental knowledge, parental warmth also was perceived to be high (r = .54, p < .001). Owing to the analysis of nationally representative data, results are generalizable to the United States population of adolescents 12–18 years of age.