The present study examines whether aspects of parental communication about smoking function as antecedents of adolescent smoking cognitions. In this longitudinal full-family study (428 families), parent and adolescent reports were used to assess parental communication. Concepts of the Theory of Planned Behavior were measured among adolescents. Differences between older and younger siblings within the family were examined. Cross-sectionally, frequency and quality of communication were associated with smoking cognitions. Longitudinally, only quality of communication preceded smoking cognitions. This effect was mainly found for younger siblings. The results of this study emphasize the importance of quality of parental communication rather than frequency. Communication patterns based on mutual respect and equality help to prevent adolescent smoking onset.
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