Objectives: In this study, we examined how often US youths reported having complete parental restrictions on watching R-rated movies. In addition, we assessed the relationship between parental R-rated movie restrictions and adolescents' sensation seeking and how this interplay is related to smoking onset.
Methods: Data from a 4-wave longitudinal study of 6522 adolescents (10–14 years of age) who were recruited through a random-digit-dial telephone survey were used. At baseline, subjects were nationally representative of the US population. Subjects were monitored for 2 years and queried about their smoking status, their sensation-seeking propensity, and how often they were allowed to watch R-rated movies. A cross-lagged model combined with survival analysis was used to assess the relationships between parental R-rated movie restrictions, sensation-seeking propensity, and risk for smoking onset.
Results: Findings demonstrated that 32% of the US adolescents reported being completely restricted from watching R-rated movies by their parents. Model findings revealed that adolescents' sensation seeking was related to greater risk for smoking onset not only directly but also indirectly through their parents becoming more permissive of R-rated movie viewing. Parental R-rated movie restrictions were found to decrease the risk of smoking onset directly and indirectly by changing children's sensation seeking.
Conclusions: 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.
- Accepted September 21, 2010.
- Copyright © 2011 by the American Academy of Pediatrics