The protective influence of family bonding on smoking initiation in adolescents by racial/ethnic and age subgroups

E. Melinda Mahabee-Gittens, Jane C. Khoury, Bin Huang, Lorah D. Dorn, Robert T. Ammerman, Judith S. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, this study examined the associations among family bonding factors and the initiation of smoking by race/ethnicity and age group among nonsmokers at Wave 1. Overall, 18% of the sample initiated smoking by Wave 2. For younger African-American and Hispanic youths, high maternal satisfaction with the relationship was significantly protective of smoking initiation. For older Hispanics, high parental presence and high parent-family connectedness were protective against smoking initiation, while lack of awareness about the adolescent's whereabouts was a risk factor for initiation in both younger and older Caucasians, and in the older Hispanics. Our results underscore the importance of maintaining high levels of family bonding with the adolescent throughout early and late adolescence in order to decrease tobacco initiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-287
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Adolescence
  • Ethnicity
  • Parental influence
  • Race
  • Smoking initiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Psychology(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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