Hong Kong Chinese Adolescents’ Self-Reported Smoking and Perceptions of Parenting Styles

Yun Wang, Sai Yin Ho, Man Ping Wang, Wing Sze Lo, Hak Kan Lai, Tai Hing Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Adolescent smoking has been associated with general parenting style, although potential differences between fathers and mothers were seldom investigated, especially in non-Western populations. Purpose: The aim of this study is to investigate associations between Hong Kong adolescents’ smoking and their perceptions of paternal and maternal parenting styles. Method: In a school-based survey in 2006–2007, 33,408 adolescents (44.6 % boys; mean age 14.5 ± 1.3 years) provided information on smoking and the frequency of care and control by each parent, who was classified into one of four adolescent-reported parenting styles: authoritative (high care, high control), authoritarian (low care, high control), permissive (high care, low control), or neglectful (low care, low control). Logistic regression was used to calculate adjusted odds ratios (AORs) of current smoking (past 30 days) for parenting variables, considering potential effect modification by age, sex and parental smoking. Results: Maternal care and control were strongly and significantly associated with lower odds of adolescent current smoking. However, such association was weak for paternal care and observed only in girls. Conversely, paternal control was positively associated with current smoking, especially if the father smoked. The lowest AORs of current smoking were associated with authoritative mothers, permissive fathers and combinations of maternal and paternal parenting styles with an authoritative mother whether or not the father was authoritative. Conclusion: Maternal care, control and authoritative parenting were associated with lower odds of adolescent smoking in Hong Kong. Paternal care was only weakly associated with lower odds of adolescent smoking, and paternal control was even associated with higher odds of smoking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-275
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Care
  • Control
  • Parenting
  • Smoking

Cite this