Background: The aim of the present study is to investigate whether general parenting factors (i.e., quality parent-child relationship, psychological control, strict control, parental knowledge) and parental smoking add to The theory of planned behaviour [Organ Behav. Hum. Dec. 50 (1991) 179] in predicting the onset of smoking. A mediation model is applied in which parental factors affect smoking behavior indirectly by affecting smoking cognitions (i.e., attitude, self-efficacy, and social norm).
Methods: The model was tested in a longitudinal study on 1,070 adolescents, aged 10-14 years old. Structural equation models (SEM) on current and on future smoking behavior were tested.
Results: The findings showed that the quality of the parent-child relationship and parental knowledge affected adolescents' smoking behavior indirectly, while parental smoking behavior had a direct effect. Strict control and psychological control were found to be unrelated to adolescents' smoking onset.
Conclusions: In prevention campaigns, parents should be informed of the extent to which they exert influence on their child's smoking behavior and should be given advice and information on how they can prevent their children from starting to smoke.