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Does Household Structure Affect Adolescent Smoking?

Authors


Correspondence to:

Neda Razaz-Rahmati, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, 2307 - 928 Richards Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 6P6, Canada. E-mail: neda.razaz@gmail.com

Abstract

Objectives

To examine household structure when studying determinants of youth smoking, as the configuration of a family is an important factor in the etiology of adolescent problem behaviors.

Design and Sample

The study sample (n = 13,001) included respondents aged 12–19 years who were either living in two-parent households, single-parent households, or no-parent households, and with valid response to the smoking status questions from the Canadian Community Health Survey.

Measures

Multivariate logistic regression was used to test the presence and strength of the association between household structure and the likelihood of smoking while controlling for age, sex, household education, and exposure to secondhand smoking.

Results

The odds of youth smoking in the single-parent household was 1.78 times greater than the odds of youth smoking in two-parent households. Similarly, the odds of youth smoking in no-parent households was 1.47 times greater than the odds of youth smoking in two-parent households.

Conclusions

The results indicate that there is an association between household structure and smoking among adolescents in Canada. Findings might be helpful for decision makers to recognize the context within which adolescents initiate and sustain smoking when developing strategies for the prevention and cessation of smoking among youth.

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