Tobacco control

Parental monitoring and substance use among Pacific youth. In Fact

27 Aug 2014

Parents have a significant influence on the societal norms, values and behaviour learned by their children. Permissive parental rule setting and monitoring has been shown to relate to a greater likelihood of children engaging in health-compromising behaviours such as smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol. Tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption are of particular concern for Pacific youth - although smoking rates have been declining over time, they are still twice as likely to be regular smokers as their non-Pacific, non-Māori peers, and more likely to report drinking five or more alcoholic drinks in one session. To deter Pacific youth from taking up smoking or engaging in excessive alcohol consumption and, therefore, reduce health inequalities arising from such substance use, it is important to understand the relationships with protective factors such as parental monitoring.

HPA’s Youth Insights Survey (YIS) is a key source of New Zealand data on adolescent substance use. The YIS monitors Year 10 students’ behaviours, attitudes and knowledge on health-related topics, including tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, and protective factors such as parental monitoring.