The Mediating Role of Parental Factors in the Social Patterning of Smoking among Adolescents in Urban Indonesia

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Health Education and Behavioral Science, Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Indonesia.

2 Public Health and Occupational Health, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

3 School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Institution of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

4 Department of Epidemiology and Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden


Introduction: Parental factors may explain part of the social patterning of smoking among adolescents. This study aims at assessing the association between adolescent smoking and family characteristics (parental education, family wealth, and religion) and the mediating role of parental factors (smoking, control, and permissiveness towards smoking). Methods: In 2017, a cross-sectional survey was conducted in eight Indonesian cities among 2,393 students aged 13–18 years. Multilevel logistic regression analysis estimated the associations between family characteristics and adolescent smoking. Generalized Structural Equation Models (GSEM) quantified mediation of these associations by parental factors. Analyses were stratified by gender. Results: Smoking prevalence was 35.8% among boys and 2.6% among girls. Odds of smoking were higher among those with lower parental education among boys (low vs. high: OR:1.57, 95%CI:1.01-2.43), but not girls (OR:0.91, 95%CI:0.24-3.43). The association among boys was partially mediated by father’s smoking status, parental control, and parental permissiveness towards smoking. High family wealth was associated with higher odds of smoking among girls (poorer vs. wealthier: OR:0.39, 95%CI:0.15-0.99), but not boys (OR:0.76, 95%CI:0.52-1.10). This association among girls was not clearly mediated by parental factors. Religion was not associated with smoking among boys or girls. Conclusions: In Indonesia’s urban settings, inequalities in boys’ smoking by educational background may be addressed by measures aimed at supporting lower educated parents to improve parental control and to reduce permissiveness towards smoking.


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