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Am J Public Health. 2010 Sep;100(9):1641-7. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.171637. Epub 2010 Jul 15.

The Linking Lives health education program: a randomized clinical trial of a parent-based tobacco use prevention program for african american and latino youths.

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  • 1Columbia University School of Social Work, 1255 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10027, USA.



We evaluated the effectiveness of a parent-based add-on component to a school-based intervention to prevent cigarette smoking among African American and Latino middle school youths.


Mother-adolescent dyads (n=1386) were randomly assigned to 2 groups: (1) a school-based smoking-prevention intervention or (2) the same intervention with a parent-based add-on component called Raising Smoke-Free Kids. Mothers in the experimental condition received the parent add-on component. Mothers in the control condition received information on selecting a high school. All adolescents received a version of Project Towards No Tobacco Use (TNT). The primary outcome was a reduction in adolescent cigarette smoking. Follow-up data were obtained from 1096 mother-adolescent dyads at 15 months postintervention.


At follow-up, the odds of smoking cigarettes were reduced by 42% for adolescents in the parent add-on condition versus the TNT-only condition. Mothers in the parent add-on condition were more likely than were mothers in the TNT-only condition to set rules about risk-sensitive social activities and to be perceived as trustworthy by their child. Group differences also were found in the frequency and quality of mother-adolescent communication.


Including parent add-on components in school-based smoking prevention programs can reduce smoking behavior on the part of inner-city middle school youths.

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