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Open AccessArticle

Parental Optimism and Perceived Control over Children’s Initiation of Tobacco, Cannabis, and Opioid Use

1
Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC H3T 1C5, Canada
2
Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA
3
Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre, Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC H3T 1C5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6181; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176181
Received: 12 July 2020 / Revised: 5 August 2020 / Accepted: 23 August 2020 / Published: 26 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Children's Health)
Families play an important role in helping teenagers avoid using tobacco, cannabis, and opioids, but some parents may underestimate the risk of their children using those substances. This study aimed to determine parents’ perceived likelihood of their child initiating tobacco, cannabis, and opioid use, as well as the control they have in preventing their child from using those substances. We surveyed 427 parents of children aged 0–18 years old using the online Amazon Mechanical Turk platform in the spring of 2019. We measured participants’ perceived likelihood of their child initiating tobacco, cannabis, or opioid use before the age of 18 compared to other children, using a five-point Likert scale. This perceived likelihood was dichotomized between optimistic (less likely than average) and non-optimistic (average or more likely than average). Independent variables included parental tobacco use, perceived parental control, and perceived severity of the behavior. Participants with missing data and participants with children who had already initiated substance use were excluded from statistical analyses. Mean age of participants was 38.1 years (Standard Deviation 8.4); 67% were female. Level of parental optimism was 59% for cannabis, 77% for tobacco, and 82% for opioids. Perceived severity was significantly lower for cannabis use (71/100) than tobacco (90/100) and opioid use (92/100) (p < 0.001). Current smokers were less likely than never smokers to be optimistic about their child’s risk of initiating using tobacco (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR): 0.18 [95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.10–0.34]) or cannabis (AOR: 0.21 [95% CI 0.12–0.38]). Parental perceived likelihood of a child initiating substance use represents an understudied and potential target for substance use prevention. View Full-Text
Keywords: behavior control; cannabis; opioids; optimism; parents; smoking behavior control; cannabis; opioids; optimism; parents; smoking
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chadi, N.; Winickoff, J.P.; Drouin, O. Parental Optimism and Perceived Control over Children’s Initiation of Tobacco, Cannabis, and Opioid Use. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6181. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176181

AMA Style

Chadi N, Winickoff JP, Drouin O. Parental Optimism and Perceived Control over Children’s Initiation of Tobacco, Cannabis, and Opioid Use. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(17):6181. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176181

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chadi, Nicholas; Winickoff, Jonathan P.; Drouin, Olivier. 2020. "Parental Optimism and Perceived Control over Children’s Initiation of Tobacco, Cannabis, and Opioid Use" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 17: 6181. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176181

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