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Máté Ádám Balázs & Bettina Pikó: Social Influences and Adolescent Smoking: the Role of the Social Network, Families and Peer Groups

All over the world, smoking represents one of the major social and public health problems; this is especially true in the case of Hungary and Eastern Europe, where the level of youth smoking is among the highest. There are a number of background factors that influence adolescent smoking. In our study, we focus on the social background and social network, in particular the role of the family, friends and peer groups. Our study was conducted in all the primary and secondary schools in the southern Hungarian town of Makó and nearby villages in the spring of 2010. The sample was composed of 2072 participants. The students were asked anonymously with a self-administered questionnaire, which consisted of items about sociodemographic factors, adolescents’ smoking habits, smoking status of the social network and smoking-related attitudes. According to our findings, in terms of the family, mothers’ schooling and smoking behaviour had a weak influence on youth smoking, in contrast with the strong impact of siblings’ smoking behaviour. The effect of participants’ friends and best friend had an equal significance. With regard to parents’ attitudes and opinions, it might be argued that the prohibition of smoking by the parents increased youth smoking rather than decreasing it. To sum up, adolescent smoking may be influenced by several different factors, and understanding them aids in the everyday planning of prevention strategies.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 116. Number 1. 73-89. (2016)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Pikó Bettina, SZTE ÁOK Magatartás¬tudo¬mányi Intézet, 6722 Szeged, Szentháromság u. 5.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia