Cigarette smoking is of interest to the National Institute on Drug Abuse both because of
the public health problems associated with this form of substance abuse and because this
behavior represents a prototypic dependence process. In the past few years the
government has made every effort to reach the masses, in an attempt to curb the
exploitation of tobbacco use, and its acceptance among Americas Youngsters. However,
cigarette smoking among adolescents is on the rise.
The premise that the behavior of adolescents is influenced by the behavior of their
parents is central to many considerations of health and social behavior (Ausubel,
Montemayor, & Svajiian, 1977; Bandura & Walters, 1963). Many young people between
10-18 years of age experiment with smoking, smoking is a personal choice, and usually
exploratory in nature. Typically, it takes place in rather young people and is largely
dependent on: first, the availability of opportunity to engage in the behavior, second,
having a fairly high degree of curiosity about the effects of the behavior; third, in finding
it a way of expressing either conformity to the behavior or others (such as parents, older
siblings or peers), forth, as in "Miller and Dollar's" explanation of Observational
Learning, The Copying behavior effect.
This research is to examine the effects of parental smoking (behavior), has, on the
decision of teens to smoke cigarettes. Due to prior studies using global measures that
may or may not include South Eastern North Carolina. The Fayetteville/Fort Bragg area
was chosen for this study to pinpoint the effects in this particular locale. Fort Bragg and
Pope Air Force Base have a very diverse socieo-economic and culturally diverse
population, which will have a positive effect on randomness of sample selection. With
this association in mind, this researcher is interested in knowing if there is a relationship
of Parental influence on Teen Smoking within this Military Community.
The prevalence of cigarette smoking among young teenagers is a growing
problem in the United States, many young people between the ages of 10-18 are
experimenting with tobacco. During the 1040's and 50's smoking was popular and
socially acceptable. Movie stars, sports heroes, and celebrities appeared in cigarette
advertisements that promoted and heavily influenced teens. Influence also came from
Television and other media sources. The desires to be accepted and to feel grown up are
among the most common reasons to start smoking. Yet, even though teenagers
sometimes smoke to gain independence, and to be part of the crowd parental influence
plays the strongest role as to whether or their children will smoke, Journal of American
Medical Association (JAMA), 1991. Children are exposed to and influenced by the
parents, siblings, and the media long before peer pressure will become a factor. Mothers
should not smoke during pregnancy, nicotine, which crosses the placental barrier, may
affect the female fetus during an important period of development so as to predispose the
brain to the addictive influence of nicotine. Prenatal exposure to smoking has previously
been linked with impairments in memory, learning, cognition, and perception in the
growing child. (National Institute of Drug Abuse, 1995) Subsequent follow-up after 12
years suggest that regardless of the amount or duration of current or past maternal
smoking, the strongest correlation between maternal smoking and a daughter's smoking
occurred when the mother smoked during pregnancy. NIDA also reported that of 192
mothers and their first born adolescents with a mean age of 12 1/2, the analysis revealed
that 26.6% of the girls whose mother smoked while pregnant had smoked in the past
The 1991 smoking prevalence estimate of 25.7% is virtually no different from the
previous year's estimate of 25.5%. If current trends persist, we will not meet one of the
nation's health objectives, particularly a smoking prevalence of no more than 15% by the
year 2000. When comparing the use of alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs, only
cigarette use did not decline substantially among high school senior among 1981 to 1991.
In contrast studies performed by "household survey" by the NIDA and the CDC, (Centers
for Disease Control) in 1991 and 92 respectively, suggested that the strongest influence
on teenage smoking is parents. Research also revealed that approximately three fourths
of adult regular smokers smoke their first cigarette before the age of 18. This data was
acquired while trying to determine the brand preferences of young smokers to determine
what encouraged them to smoke and to suggest smoking prevention or smoking cessation
strategies, the studies found that in over 80% of the households surveyed, one or both
parents smoked. Many teenagers begin smoking to feel grow-up. However, if they are
still smoking when they reach 30, the reason is no longer to feel like an adult; at this
point, they are smoking from habit. Goodwin, D. W., Guze, S. B. (1984).
Young children who see older children or family members smoking cigarettes are going
to equate smoking with being grown up. Patterns of both drinking and smoking, which
are closely associated, are strongly influenced by the lifestyles of family members peers
and by the environments in which they live. Minimal, moderate, and heavy levels of
drinking, smoking, and drug use, among family members are strongly associated with
very similar patterns of use among adolescents. Bentler, P., Newcoomb, M., (1989).
Parents who smoke and wish they didn't should concentrate on their own efforts to stop
and hope that their offspring get the message.
Another good view of smoking among young people can be obtained from the federal
government's Annual National Survey of drug use among seniors, and now other high
school students. Reports of cigarette use in the past years have declined since the peak of
almost 40% in 1975. The 30% mark was crossed in 1981, with a very gradual further
decline to 25.7% in 1991 and increased to 27.8% in 1992, Johnston, O'Malley, (1993).
According to cognitive social learning theory, boys and girls learn appropriate behavior
through reinforcement and modeling. To date, numerous studies have examined parental
influence on teenage smoking and has yielded equivocal results Due to the implications
of cigarette smoking behavior for the public health and the view that smoking is the
prototypical dependence process. Research taken from the TAPS (Teen-age Attitudes
and practices Survey) 1992, reported that if parents smoke, their children are more likely
to smoke. In regions of the United States that was surveyed, it was documented that
9135 of 11609 (79%), of the respondents to the survey of teenage smokers lived in
households where one or both parents/guardians smoked tobacco. This information was
taken from household samples of adolescents ages 12-18 done by a computer Assisted
Telephone interviewing system (CAT). The goal of this research is to focus upon the
systematic compilation of data collected in this survey/correlation study and serve as a
basis for designing feasible and effective treatment strategies as well as enhance our
understanding of dependence associated with cigarette smoking and substance abuse.
Questions will be of nominal and rating format (attached), Non respondents will not be
included in the study. The questions (10), will be on a 8 1/2x 11 sheet of paper. The
questions will be divided into three categories, (health history of parents present smoking
habits, and general. The Dependent variable used in this study is adolescent smoking
A total of 500 teens male and female 14-18 years old, randomly selected from various
areas around the Fort Bragg, Pope Air Force Base, and Fayetteville area. $2 will be given
in exchange for participation.
Questionnaires will be given to individuals upon their approval to participate in the
study, a number two pencil will be used to write with.
Participants will be chosen at random from either the Post Exchange and the movie
theaters of the Fort Bragg area. Participation will be voluntary after an explanation of the
study. Since this research involve minors, each participants will sign a release form.
Each respondent will be allotted 15 minutes to complete the questionnaire, and not to
discuss the contents with other participants. However participants, will be told that they
can discuss this issue with parents/guardians. A phone number of the researcher will be
given to each respondent in case of any afterthoughts. Non respondents will not be
included in the study. The questions (10), will be on a 8 1/2x 11 sheet of paper and
consist of both, true/false, and nominal data, yes/no. The questions will be divided into
three categories, (health history of parents present smoking habits, and general. chi-
square and t-distribution statistics will be used to identify significant differences between
Bauman, K. E., Foshee, V. A., Linzer, M. A., Koch, G. G. (1990). Effect of
parental smoking classification on the association between parental and adolescent
smoking. Addictive-behaviors, 15,(5), 413-422.
Horevitz, M. J., (1985). Disasters and psychological responses to stress.
Psychiatric Annals, 15, 161-167.
Hu, F. B. Flak, B. R., Hedeker, D. (1995). The inlf\uence of friends and
parental smoking on adolescent smoking behavior. Journal of Applied Social
Psychology, v4 (3), 215-225.
Jessor, R. (1993). Successful adolescent development among high-risk settings,
American Psychologist, 48, 117-126.
Johnston, L., O'Malley, P., Bachman, J. (1988). Drug use among American high
school students, College students and other young adults. National trends through 1991.
National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Research Monograph Series, (1979). Cigarette Smoking as a dependence
Process. National Institute on Drug Abuse. 23
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