Socioeconomic differences in parenting strategies to prevent adolescent smoking: a case study from the Netherlands

Kuipers MA, Haal S, Kunst AE.

Int J Behav Med. 2016 Jun;23(3):364-71.


This study aimed to identify possible socioeconomic differences in the use of anti-smoking parenting strategies.


In 2012, survey data of adolescents (N = 225) aged 13 to 17 years and their mothers (N = 122) and fathers (N = 105) were collected in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Questions on smoking behaviour and eleven anti-smoking parenting strategies were answered by adolescents, mothers and fathers. School tracks of adolescents and educational level of parents were measured as indicators of socioeconomic position. Linear multilevel regression analyses were applied to study the association between socioeconomic position (SEP) and standardised scores of anti-smoking strategies. Analyses were controlled for age, sex and smoking by parents and adolescents.


We found no consistent socioeconomic differences in the use of anti-smoking parenting strategies. There were no statistically significant differences in relation to parental educational level or when using adolescent reports on parenting practices. However, when using parental reports, a few strategies varied significantly according to adolescent educational track. Adolescents in higher educational tracks were more likely to have no-smoking rules in the home (standardised regression coefficient (β) = 0.20, 95 % confidence interval (CI): 0.03; 0.37, p = 0.022) and more likely to have a no-smoking agreement (β = 0.17, 95 % CI: 0.00; 0.34, p = 0.048). However, they were less likely to frequently communicate about smoking with their parents (β = −0.25, 95 % CI: −0.41; −0.08, p = 0.004).


In this specific population, there was no consistent support for the hypothesis that anti-smoking parenting strategies contribute to socioeconomic inequalities in adolescent smoking. Parental factors that are more likely to contribute to these inequalities include parental smoking and parenting styles.

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