'Communicative fathers' help reduce teenage smoking

April 14, 2010

Children who talk to their fathers about the issues that are important to them are less likely to take up smoking during early adolescence, a Cardiff University study has found.

Dr James White from Cardiff University's School of Medicine undertook a three-year-study, involving some 3,500 11 to 15 year-olds, as part of the British Youth Panel Survey - a self report survey of children in the British Household Panel survey.

Results indicated that one of the strongest protective factors for reducing the risk of experimenting with smoking in early adolescence was how often fathers talked with their children, both boys and girls, about 'things that mattered'.

Dr White, who presents his findings to the British Psychological Society's Annual Conference today (Thursday 15th April) said: "This study suggests that a greater awareness of parents' and especially fathers' potential impact upon their teenagers' choices about whether to smoke is needed. Fathers should be encouraged and supported to improve the quality and frequency of communication with their children during adolescence.

"The impact of teenager parenting is relatively un-researched and further research is very much needed."

Only children who had never smoked at the time the study began took part. As well as their smoking, the children were also asked about the frequency of parental communication, arguments with family members and the frequency of family meals.

The frequency of family arguments and meals did not have a significant effect.

After three years, the responses of who had remained non were compared to those who said they had experimented with smoking at some point.

Recognised risk factors for smoking, such as age, participant sex, , parental monitoring and parental smoking, were all taken into account during analysis of the study's findings.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Babies born during famine have lower cognition in midlife

December 12, 2017
Hunger and malnutrition in infancy may lead to poor cognitive performance in midlife, according to a new study.

State-level disclosure laws affect patients' eagerness to have their DNA tested

December 12, 2017
Different types of privacy laws in U.S. states produce markedly different effects on the willingness of patients to have genetic testing done, according to a new study co-authored by an MIT professor.

'Man flu' may be real

December 11, 2017
The much-debated phenomenon of "man flu" may have some basis in fact, suggests an article published in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

Full moon linked to increased risk of fatal motorcycle crashes

December 11, 2017
The full moon is associated with an increased risk of fatal motorcycle crashes in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, finds a study in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

Social media trends can predict tipping points in vaccine scares

December 11, 2017
Analyzing trends on Twitter and Google can help predict vaccine scares that can lead to disease outbreaks, according to a study from the University of Waterloo.

Study suggests being proud may protect against falls in older people

December 11, 2017
Contrary to the old saying "pride comes before a fall", the opposite appears to be true, according to a study published in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.