Background: Adolescence is a critical developmental period when tobacco use is initiated and progression to regular smoking occurs. Another growing concern is the mounting evidence of ethnic/racial disparities in the smoking rates and adverse health consequences related to smoking. To reduce ethnic/racial disparities in smoking behaviors, understanding the protective influences against smoking behaviors among minority adolescents is important. Therefore, we examined the role of ethnic pride and parental disapproval of smoking on a wide range of smoking behaviors in ethnic/racial minority and White adolescents attending a suburban high school in Connecticut.
Methods: A total of 870 adolescents (ethnic/racial minority: n= 202) completed questions on susceptibility to smoking, ever trying a cigarette, smoking at least one cigarette daily in the past 30 days, as well as parental disapproval of smoking and ethnic pride in a school-wide survey.
Results: Logistic regression analyses indicated that perceived parental disapproval of adolescent smoking and ethnic pride were associated with susceptibility to smoking, ever trying a cigarette, and daily smoking differently for minority and White adolescents. For White youth, high parental disapproval of smoking was protective against all three smoking behaviors whereas ethnic pride was not. For minority youth, the combined protective effect of higher ethnic pride and higher parental disapproval of smoking was protective against all smoking behaviors.
Conclusion: The protective role of parental disapproval of smoking and ethnic pride on smoking behaviors may inform culturally sensitive smoking interventions aimed at diverse, multi-ethnic youth, and future studies are needed to examine this. (Am J Addict 2012;21:424–434)