185863 Parental conversations in an African-American community: Effect on attitudes toward tobacco use

Monday, October 27, 2008

John Parmer, MPP , Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Marylen Rimando, MPH , Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Donoria Wilkerson , Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georiga, Athens, GA
Lucy Annang, PhD, MPH , Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC
Stuart Usdan, PhD , Department of Health Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
William D. Johnson, PhD , Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisian State University System, Baton Rouge, LA
Alexandra Burdell , Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Jessica L. Muilenburg, PhD , Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Background: Research has shown that talking to kids about tobacco and drugs may positively influence their decision to engage in smoking or drug use, particularly their willingness to try smoking cigarettes. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between having parental conversations with children about tobacco use and its impact on their attitudes toward smoking.

Methods: Data were collected via paper-and-pencil survey from high school students in a large southeastern city in the U.S. (N=3128). 77 percent of the sample were African-American and are the focus of the current study.

Results: Approximately 67% of respondents stated that at least one parent had spoken to them about the dangers of tobacco use. Respondents who had at least one parent talk to them about the dangers of tobacco use were more likely to think that smoking is dangerous to their health (p<.001), occasional smoking causes harm (p<.001), cigarette smoking is highly addictive (p<.001), secondhand smoke is harmful to them (p=.006), and smoking only for a year or two is unsafe (p=.006). These respondents also were more likely to have smoking restrictions in the home (p<.001) and report not smoking cigarettes daily (p=.008).

Conclusion: The association between parental discussions about smoking and adolescent attitudes toward smoking suggests that parental influence indeed affects adolescent beliefs and behaviors. As culturally sensitive tobacco education programs continue to be developed, interventionists should consider the influence of parents on adolescent attitudes toward risk behavior.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the importance of parental conversations with kids in deterring unhealthy behaviors 2. Articulate the importance of culturally sensitive smoking cessation programs 3. Describe attitudinal and belief differences in smoking

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: research with faculty
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.