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J Abnorm Psychol. 2007 Feb;116(1):213-8.

Parental monitoring moderates the importance of genetic and environmental influences on adolescent smoking.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Although there is a substantial literature on the role of parenting in adolescent substance use, most parenting effects have been small in magnitude and studied outside the context of genetically informative designs, raising debate and controversy about the influence that parents have on their children (D. C. Rowe, 1994). Using a genetically informative twin-family design, the authors studied the role of parental monitoring on adolescent smoking at age 14. Although monitoring had only small main effects, consistent with the literature, there were dramatic moderation effects associated with parental monitoring: At high levels of parental monitoring, environmental influences were predominant in the etiology of adolescent smoking, but at low levels of parental monitoring, genetic influences assumed far greater importance. These analyses demonstrate that the etiology of adolescent smoking varies dramatically as a function of parenting.

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