P.A.C. Van Lier
- The role of friends' disruptive behavior in the development of children's tobacco experimentation: results from a preventive intervention study
- Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 39 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
Having friends who engage in disruptive behavior in childhood may be a risk factor for childhood tobacco experimentation. This study tested the role of friends’ disruptive behavior as a mediator of the effects of a classroom based intervention on children’s tobacco experimentation. 433 Children (52% males) were randomly assigned to the Good Behavior Game (GBG) intervention, a universal preventive intervention targeting disruptive behavior, and facilitating positive prosocial peer interactions. Friends’ disruptive behavior was assessed from age 7-10 years. Participants’ experimentation with tobacco was assessed annually from age 10-13. Reduced rates in tobacco experimentation and friends’ disruptive behavior were found among GBG children, as compared to controls. Support for friends’ disruptive behavior as a mediator in the link between intervention status and tobacco experimentation was found. These results remained after controlling for friends’ and parental smoking status, and child ADHD symptoms. The results support the role of friends’ disruptive behavior in preadolescents’ tobacco experimentation.
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