Understanding the Association Between Authoritative Parenting and Adolescent Smoking

  • Brian C. CastrucciEmail author
  • Karen K. Gerlach

Background: Research on adolescent cigarette smoking has attempted to measure the role of parents in preventing smoking experimentation and uptake. However, aspects of parental influence have often been limited to parental smoking behavior or antismoking socialization. Only a limited number of studies considered the hypothesis that the influence of parenting on adolescent current cigarette smoking may extend beyond parental behavior and antismoking socialization to consider broader measures of the parent–child relationship, such as parenting style. Methods: The sample was nationally representative and included 17,287 high school students nationwide. Data were used to categorize the parenting style—authoritative, permissive, autocratic, and unengaged—experienced by each respondent. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess the association between parenting style and adolescent current cigarette smoking. Results: Authoritative parenting was associated with a reduction in the odds of adolescent current cigarette smoking (OR: 0.74, 99% CI: 0.58, 0.95). When authoritative parenting is simultaneously considered with believing parents’ opinions about smoking are important, authoritative parenting was no longer a significant correlate of adolescent current cigarette smoking, while believing parents’ opinions about smoking are important was associated with a 45% (99% CI: 0.48, 0.64) reduction in the odds of adolescent current cigarette smoking. Authoritative parenting was associated with a more than three-fold increase (OR: 3.65, 99% CI: 2.87, 4.66) in the odds of believing parents’ opinions about smoking are important. Discussion: Interventions may want to educate parents about authoritative parenting, which includes the importance of having appropriate and routine conversations with their children, requiring chores, and implementing general rules and boundaries.


parenting tobacco family rules adolescents 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Philadelphia Department of Public HealthPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.The Robert Wood Johnson FoundationPrincetonUSA

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