Sensation Seeking, R-Movies Jointly Affect Youth Smoking

Both can increase risk of beginning to smoke; their relationship is bidirectional

MONDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescent sensation seeking and viewing of R-rated movies both appear to increase the risk for beginning to smoke, and the relationship between them appears to be bidirectional, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in Pediatrics.

Rebecca N.H. de Leeuw, of Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands, and colleagues analyzed data from a representative sample of 6,522 U.S. adolescents (aged 10 to 14) who were monitored for two years for smoking status, sensation-seeking propensity, and whether they were allowed by parents to watch R-rated movies.

The researchers found that adolescent sensation seeking was related to greater risk for beginning smoking directly and also indirectly through parents relaxing restrictions on viewing R-rated movies. Parental R-rated movie restrictions reduced the risks of beginning smoking directly and also indirectly by altering youths' sensation seeking.

"These findings imply that, beyond direct influences, the relationship between adolescents sensation seeking and parental R-rated movie restrictions in explaining smoking onset is bidirectional in nature. Finally, these findings highlight the relevance of motivating and supporting parents in limiting access to R-rated movies," the authors write.

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