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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


KOVACS, Francisco Manuel et al. The Influence of Parents on Habits and Substance Use in Adolescents of Palma de Mallorca, Spain, in 2003. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2008, vol.82, n.6, pp.677-689. ISSN 2173-9110.

Bakground. Substance use is quite common among adolescents. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of parents on their habits. Methods. The study sample was made up of all 13 to 15 year old schoolchildren from the island of Majorca and their parents. Information was collected, with validated instruments, on parents’ and adolescents’ alcohol intake, smoking, socioeconomic status, sports and television watching, as well as adolescents’ academic performance. Results. The study included 4,019 schoolchildren and 7,359 parents. Parents belonging to a low socioeconomic level was the principal variable related to parental influence on smoking children (OR=3.86, 95% CI: 2.30-6.48, p=0.000), drinking (OR = 1.88, 95% CI: 1.40-2.54; p=0.000), failing courses (OR=6.37, 95% CI: 4.23-9.61; p=0.000), watching TV 2 hours/day (OR=1.97; 95%IC:1.69-2.29; p=0.000), and not practicing sports (OR=0.55, 95% CI: 0.38-0.80; p=0.001). Additionally, the mother’s drinking had an influence on the children’s smoking (OR=1.76, 95% CI: 1.24-1.51; p=0.002), and the parents’ smoking had an influence on the children’s (boys, not girls) failing courses (OR=1.89, 95% CI: 1.33-2.68; p=0.000). The corresponding habits in parents increased the probability that adolescents drank (OR=1.91, 95% CI: 1.43-2.51; p=0.000), watched TV 2 hours/day (OR=1.97, 95% CI: 1.68-2.29; p=0.000), and practiced sports (OR=6.67, 95% CI: 2.57-14.96; p=0.000). Conclusions. A low socioeconomic level is associated with a greater risk of smoking, drinking, failing courses and not practicing sports in the adolescents. Additionally, the mother’s drinking is associated with a greater risk of her children smoking and drinking, and both parents’ drinking is associated with a greater risk of their children doing so. The practice of sports and the time spent watching television by the parents have an influence on the corresponding habits in their children, but have no influence on the adolescents’ smoking or drinking.

Keywords : Alcohol; Tobacco; Habits; Adolescents; Parents.

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