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J Pediatr Psychol. 2002 Sep;27(6):485-96.

Parental smoking cessation and adolescent smoking.

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  • 1Psychology Department, Arizona State University, Tempe 85287-1104, USA. laurie.chassin@asu.edu



To examine the relation of parent smoking cessation to adolescent smoking and test its potential mediators.


Participants were 446 adolescents and their parents who completed a computerized measure of implicit attitudes toward smoking and questionnaires assessing smoking, parenting, and explicit attitudes.


Parental smoking cessation was associated with less adolescent smoking, except when the other parent currently smoked. In general, ex-smoking parents showed more antismoking socialization than did smoking parents. However, in children's reports, these effects were negated if the other parent (particularly the mother) smoked. Children's reports of parents' antismoking behavior partially mediated the relation between parental smoking and adolescent smoking. Although children's implicit and explicit attitudes were unrelated to parental smoking, mothers' implicit attitudes were related to both their own smoking and their child's smoking.


Parental smoking cessation may help lower risk for adolescent smoking. However, this benefit may be realized only if the other parent does not currently smoke. Antismoking parenting might be a useful focus in cessation interventions.

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