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Effects Of Parents Smoking Habits On Their Childs Smoking Habits

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Effects of Parent Smoking Habits on their Child's smoking habits


Parents have an influence on whether or not their children will develop smoking habits. The findings of this study show this to be true. Further research should be conducted to find out whether or not how many children the parents have also has an impact on smoking behaviors. The participants of this study were random individuals at a local convenience store ranging in age from 18 to 47. The total number of participants was 24. Of these twenty-four individuals thirteen were male and eleven were female. Only sixteen of the participants smoked, eight being male and eight being female. The eight non-smokers questioned all reported having parents who were non-smokers. In the start of this research survey, I wanted to question high-school students at a local area high school. When I went to conduct the research at the high school I was informed that there is red tape involved when dealing with minors. In order to question minors at this local high school the children would have had to have signed permission slips from there parents, after they had the chance to read over the survey that would have been filled out by their children. Having limited time to complete this research project I decided that it would be in my best interests if I conducted the research elsewhere. I also believe that having parents look at the survey might have compromised the answers that would have been given by the children. Suffice to say the convenience store was my second option in conducting this research. Although my second option did reveal relevant findings, I believe that better answers to the adolescent smoking phenomenon would have better been found in dealing directly with teenagers. Although more research is needed it seems as if the smoking behaviors of parents has a direct impact on the smoking behaviors of children. Introduction Smoking rates among youths in our country has steadily increased for years. The health consequences of smoking have been known for years, yet people still start the hard to break habit. My question is, Why? Previous studies have been conducted to answer this question. Variables in these studies have included peer pressure, advertising, and family smoking. It is the latter of the three that this research study plans to analyze. It is said that we are a product of our environment, so this study hopes to prove that when a parent or guardian smokes it increases the chances of their child or children of smoking. This question has been asked before, and it has been found by Karen H. Smith and Mary Ann Stutts that , at least for girls, having at least one parent who smokes is a good predictor of whether or not that child will end up smoking. (Smith,1999). Having a father who smokes increases boys chances of smoking by 1.5 times and for girls by 3.3 times. (Research Quarterly, 2000). Literature Review Many studies have been done on the habits of adolescent smoking. Previously examined in separate studies were peer pressure, family smoking, advertising and antismoking information. Bandura's smoking environment variables such as parental, sibling, and peer smoking habits were more important for predicting smoking behavior in adolescents. In prior research the number one predictor of smoking in adolescence is having at least one sibling who smokes. In college-aged students the number one predictors having at least one parent who smokes. These studies proved that the immediate family has a great influence on smoking habits. There are also other factors involved in the decision of an adolescent to begin smoking. Peer pressure is another concern. "Teens who associated with friends who smoke and drink were more likely to do so."(Parents and peers influence smoking, drinking, 2001) Two types of peer pressure occur in these studies: direct pressure and normative pressure. Direct pressure is when a friend or a peer asks or dares and adolescent to smoke. Normative pressure is indirect pressure such as socializing with peers who smoke. (Smith, 1999). This type of pressure causes the adolescent to lessen the negative aspects of smoking because they see someone they admire or look up to, smoking. College students are not as influenced by peer pressure as are junior high and high school aged students. These children are at an age where peer pressure is the greatest because it is truly when they begin to socialize without parental guardianship. (Smith,1999). One study that was particularly interesting, was the effects of restrictions on smoking at home, at school, and in public places. This study concluded that restrictions made smoking socially unacceptable and inconvenient. Banning smoking in the home, even when the parents smoke sends an unmistakable message to teenagers that smoking is an unacceptable behavior. (Wakefield, 2000). "Children who are exposed more often to parents smoking inside the home might have an increased likelihood of becoming established smokers." ( Wakefield, 2000). A surprising statistic that was found is that advertising of cigarette brands, paying attention to cigarette ads, and being familiar with cigarette brands are not good predictors of smoking behavior. (Smith, 1999). This study does make clear to distinguish that although cigarette advertisements may entice some adolescents to smoke, rather it suggests that smokers are no more likely to be subjected to cigarette advertising than are non-smokers. A study done by Brown University stated that gender plays no role in whether or not adolescents will become regular smokers. They also found that the rates of regular smoking were slightly higher for adolescents who were exposed to violence in the home. (Adolescent smoking, drinking behavior studied, 2000). Methodology To conduct this research survey a random sample of twenty-four people was used. The research was conducted at Economy Superette in Economy Boro of Pennsylvania. Economy is a low crime rate suburb of the city of Pittsburgh located in Western Pennsylvania. Economy is primarily a residential area. There are many housing plans and local businesses. The average resident is middle class. The research was conducted in February of 2001. A questionnaire was used to determine smoking habits and the reasons for starting smoking. This questionnaire is located in the Appendix. The 24 participants were asked if they would not mind filling out a survey. All participants were willing. Sixteen out of the twenty-four were smokers. The research in the literature review was on-line research of journal articles involving adolescent smoking. was the primary source of all information used in this research paper. The study reported here was designed to test whether or not parental smoking habits had any effect on children's smoking habits. Participants were asked to report



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