Authoritative Parenting and Cigarette Smoking Among Multiethnic Preadolescents: The Mediating Role of Anti-Tobacco Parenting Strategies

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Introduction Parenting has been shown to affect smoking among children in U.S. majority groups, but less is known about this association among multiethnic urban populations. Our study examines the role of parenting on smoking among a highly diverse sample. Methods Health surveys were collected from eighth graders (N =459) in 2 low-income urban schools. Structural equation models examined the direct and indirect effects of authoritative parenting on lifetime smoking. A moderated mediation analysis examined whether indirect effects of authoritative parenting vary among racial/ethnic groups. Results Authoritative controlling parenting, characterized by limit setting, was positively associated with anti-tobacco parenting. Anti-tobacco parenting was inversely associated with smoking, mediating the relationship between controlling parenting and smoking. There was no evidence that mediation was moderated by race/ethnicity. Conclusions Parent training, which focuses on setting rules and expectations, can be an important and universal element of smoking prevention programs targeted to youth in diverse communities.

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