Examining the effects of parental influence on adolescent smoking behaviors: A multilevel analysis of the global School-based Student Health Survey (2003-2011)

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Introduction: Based on a large cross-national dataset, we investigated the role of parental smoking (a risk factor) and parental supervision (a protective factor) on the frequency of smoking by youths in resource-poor countries. In addition, we tested for cross-level interactions between these two predictors and national wealth on the outcome variable. Methods: Pooled cross-sectional data from the Global School-based Student Health Survey (2003- 2011) were analyzed, which consists of 58 956 students in 31 countries. Hierarchical linear models were estimated to examine the associations between the two parental influence variables and adolescent smoking. Results: Among the control variables, age, gender (male), the experience of being bullied, frequency of getting into physical fights, truancy, and anxiety were significantly related to higher frequency of smoking. With respect to the main predictors, both at the individual level, parental supervision was negatively associated with adolescent smoking, while parental smoking was positively related to it. Two cross-level interaction terms were also observed. National wealth (GDP per capita) significantly moderated, that is, increased, these effects of parental influence on how often the adolescents smoked. Conclusions: We provided new evidence on the factors related to adolescent smoking in lowincome countries, a topic that has received very little attention. We showed that the associations between parental influences and adolescent smoking behaviors are not constant but vary according to the level of economic development. Future research should incorporate this comparative dimension in elaborating and specifying the conditions under which parental influences and other predictors differentially affect adolescent smoking. Implications: Prior research on adolescent smoking focused on developed countries. Based on the secondary analysis of the Global School-based Student Health Survey (2003-2011), this study examines the associations between parental influence (parental smoking and parental supervision) on the frequency of youth smoking behaviors in resource-poor countries. We show that parental smoking is positively related to adolescent smoking, while parental supervision is negatively related to it. We also find that these two associations vary according to national wealth: both effects are stronger in a country with higher per capita GDP.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberntv172
Pages (from-to)934-942
Number of pages9
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2016

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