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Parental separation in childhood and adult smoking in the 1958 British birth cohort

Martindale, S; Lacey, RE; (2017) Parental separation in childhood and adult smoking in the 1958 British birth cohort. European Journal of Public Health , 27 (4) pp. 723-728. 10.1093/eurpub/ckw265. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Parental separation or divorce is a known risk factor for poorer adult health. One mechanism may operate through the uptake of risky health behaviours, such as smoking. This study investigated the association between parental separation and adult smoking in a large British birth cohort and also examined potential socioeconomic, relational and psychosocial mediators. Differences by gender and timing of parental separation were also assessed. METHODS: Multiply imputed data on 11 375 participants of the National Child Development Study (the 1958 British birth cohort) were used. A series of multinomial logistic regression models were estimated to investigate the association between parental separation (0–16 years) and adult smoking status (age 42), and the role of potential socioeconomic, relational and psychosocial mediators. RESULTS: Parental separation in childhood was associated with an increased risk of being a current (RRR = 2.14, 95% CI: 1.77, 2.60) or ex-smoker (RRR = 1.50, 95% CI: 1.22, 1.85) at age 42. This association remained after consideration of potential socioeconomic, psychosocial and relational mediators. Relational (parent–child relationship quality, parental involvement and adult partnership status) and socioeconomic factors (overcrowding, financial hardship, housing tenure, household amenities, free school meal receipt and educational attainment) appeared to be the most important of the groups of mediators investigated. No differences by gender or the timing of parental separation were observed. CONCLUSION: Parental separation experienced in childhood was associated with increased risk of smoking. Families undergoing separation should be further supported in order to prevent the uptake of smoking and to prevent later health problems.

Type: Article
Title: Parental separation in childhood and adult smoking in the 1958 British birth cohort
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckw265
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckw265
Language: English
Additional information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in European Journal of Public Health following peer review. The version of record Martindale, S; Lacey, RE; (2017) Parental separation in childhood and adult smoking in the 1958 British birth cohort. European Journal of Public Health 10.1093/eurpub/ckw265 is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckw265.
Keywords: smoking adult child educational status parent-child relationship socioeconomic factors separation or divorce of parents
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1534558
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