Effects of primary grades health curriculum project on student and parent smoking attitudes and behavior

J Sch Health. 1984 Jan;54(1):18-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.1984.tb08748.x.


Family values regarding appropriate attitudes and behaviors are communicated to children from birth. Society's values begin to affect the child at an early age and as these change, so do children's beliefs and attitudes. A change in society's values toward smoking has been evidenced in the last decade by increased social sanctions against smoking and increased militancy of nonsmokers. This longitudinal Primary Grades Health Curriculum Project investigates the relationship between an activity-centered experiential health education program and: 1) positive health attitudes; 2) experimentation use and future expectancy to engage in cigarette smoking; and 3) changes in smoking behavior among the children's parents. Six hundred students in two New York school districts were pretested in their kindergarten year in 1977 on entry level of knowledge and attitudes about health. The results reported here from data collected at the end of third grade indicate that the experimental group possessed more positive attitudes about health, showed less exposure to experimentation with alcohol among their friends and less engagement in smoking cigarettes. A significant number of parents of experimental group students reported that they had changed their smoking habits since their child had entered school as a result of their children's health program.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health*
  • Behavior
  • Curriculum
  • Health Education*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • New York
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Smoking*
  • Students / psychology*