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15 April 2010
Children who talk to their fathers about the issues that are important to them are less likely to take-up smoking during early adolescence, a Cardiff University study has found.Dr James White from the University’s School of Medicine undertook a three-year-study, involving some 3,500 11 to 15 year-olds, as part of the British Youth Panel Survey – a self report survey of children in the British Household Panel survey.
Results indicated that one of the strongest protective factors for reducing the risk of experimenting with smoking in early adolescence was how often fathers talked with their children, both boys and girls, about ‘things that mattered’.Dr White, who presents his findings to the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference today (Thursday 15th April) said: "This study suggests that a greater awareness of parents’ and especially fathers’ potential impact upon their teenagers’ choices about whether to smoke is needed. Fathers should be encouraged and supported to improve the quality and frequency of communication with their children during adolescence."The impact of teenager parenting is relatively un-researched and further research is very much needed."Only children who had never smoked at the time the study began took part. As well as their smoking, the children were also asked about the frequency of parental communication, arguments with family members and the frequency of family meals.
The frequency of family arguments and family meals did not have a significant effect. After three years, the responses of children who had remained non smokers were compared to those who said they had experimented with smoking at some point.
Recognised risk factors for smoking, such as age, participant sex, household income, parental monitoring and parental smoking, were all taken into account during analysis of the study’s findings.
1. Further information is available by contacting:
The British Psychological Society’s Press Office on: 07966314819 or07561480168 or 07858441529.Or
Tel: 029 20 874731
2. Cardiff School of Medicine Cardiff University’s School of Medicine is a significant contributor to healthcare in Wales, a major provider of professional staff for the National Health Service and an international centre of excellence for research delivering substantial health benefits locally and internationally. The school’s 800 staff include 500 research and academic staff who teach more than 2,000 students, including 1,110 postgraduate students.The School is based at the Heath Park Campus, a site it shares the University Hospital of Wales, the third largest university hospital in the UK. The School has an all-Wales role, contributing greatly to promoting, enhancing and protecting the nation’s health. A key partner in this role is the National Health Service (NHS) in Wales, with which the School is linked at all levels. This mutual dependency is illustrated by the teaching of medical undergraduates in more than 150 hospitals located in all of Wales’ health authorities. The medical curriculum followed at the School enables students to acquire and apply knowledge, skills, judgement and attitudes appropriate to delivering a high standard of professional care. Around 300 new doctors currently graduate from the School every year and the Welsh Assembly Government has invested substantially in new teaching facilities to increase this number further.The School is an international leader in basic and clinically applied research activities and scored highly in the most recent Government Research Assessment Exercise. School of Medicine researchers annually win tens of millions of pounds in research awards to work with Government, the healthcare industries and the charitable sector on the most pressing issues of human health. The School has six interdisciplinary research groups to draw upon its own strength in depth and the vast range of expertise available across Cardiff University. These groups are addressing cancer; health sciences research; cardiovascular sciences; genomic approaches to health and disease; infection, immunity and inflammation; metabolism repair and regeneration. The School continually invests in facilities, with major developments including the Henry Wellcome Building for Biomedical Research in Wales, the largest enterprise of its kind ever in Wales. This £11M centre contains research laboratories and facilities for patients to participate in investigations of new disease treatments.The School has been instrumental in establishing and running many important national research initiatives including the Wales Gene Park, Wales Cancer Bank, the Cardiff Institute for Tissue Engineering and Repair and the Healing Foundation UK Centre for Burns Research. The Wales Gene Park is involved in biomedical research, the provision to the NHS of novel diagnostic and clinical services, knowledge dissemination, genetics and genetics education, and the successful commercialisation of innovations arising from such activities. The Wales Cancer Bank is a collaborative project involving several Welsh NHS Trusts, the universities of Bangor and Swansea and the Welsh Assembly Government and is the first population-based collection of tumour and control tissue samples in Wales. The research will help establish the causes of cancer, help identify new areas for treatment and find out the best way to care for individual patients. The Cardiff Institute for Tissue Engineering and Repair uses scientific research to solve problems which are placing a heavy burden on health services around the world, such as, eye repair, chronic wounds, kidney repair and sports injuries. The Healing Foundation UK Centre for Burns Research is a multi-million pound collaboration investigating treatments and support fort the physical and mental rehabilitation of the 14,000 people suffering severe burns in the country every year.3. Cardiff UniversityCardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.Visit the University website at: www.cardiff.ac.uk
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