The Relations Between Parents' Smoking, General Parenting, Parental Smoking Communication, and Adolescents' Smoking

Zeena Harakeh*, Ron H. J. Scholte, Ad A. Vermulst, Hein de Vries, Rutger C. M. E. Engels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The present study examined whether the associations between general parenting practices (i.e., support, behavioral control, and psychological control) and parental smoking on the one hand and older and younger siblings' smoking on the other were mediated by parental smoking communication (i.e., frequency and quality of parent-adolescent communication concerning smoking-related issues). The focus of this paper was on examining whether these associations of parental actions and adolescents' smoking were different in older and younger siblings within the family. Participants were 428 Dutch families (mother, father, and their 2 adolescent siblings aged 13-17). The results of parent and adolescent reports indicated that general parenting practices and parental smoking were associated with parental smoking communication, which, in turn, was related with adolescent smoking. The magnitude of the associations between parenting and adolescent smoking did not differ between older and younger siblings. Supportive parents were generally more likely to engage in a high quality communication about smoking with their adolescent children; this was related to a lower likelihood to smoke. Parents who exerted psychological control were more likely to talk more frequently with their adolescents on smoking matters, which in turn, relates to a higher likelihood to smoke. Also, smoking parents were less likely to have high-quality parent-adolescent communication that relates to higher likelihoods to smoke. In general, the findings were similar across reporters. Implications for prevention are addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-165
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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