The company you keep in junior high school may have more influence on your smoking behavior than your high school friends, according to newly published research from the University of Southern California (USC).
The study, which appears in the April 12 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, identifies how friends’ and parental influence on cigarette smoking changes from junior high to high school.
The research indicates that intervention targets to counteract friends’ influence may have more of an effect in junior high than in high school, and that parents remain influential on smoking behavior through high school, indicating another possible intervention target, the researchers said.
“Based on social developmental model research, we thought friends would have more influence on cigarette use during high school than junior high school,” said first author Yue Liao, M.P.H., Ph.D., a student in the department of preventive medicine’s Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research (IPR) at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “But what we found was friends have greater influence during junior high school than high school. We think the reason may be that friends’ cigarette use behavior may have a stronger influence on youth who start smoking at a younger age. During high school, cigarette use might represent the maintenance of behavior rather than a result of peer influence.”
Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education