A pilot study of what African American maternal caregivers and their adolescent daughters talk about when asked to discuss tobacco together
Parents play a critical role in shaping their children's substance use behaviors, yet few studies have examined the messages that caregivers give their adolescents about tobacco. In this study, we identify tobacco-related messages discussed by African American maternal caregivers and their adolescent daughters. Twenty-five African American maternal caregivers and their adolescent daughters participated in a video-taped discussion about tobacco. Discussions were transcribed and coded thematically. Seven themes emerged, which were grouped into tobacco-messages and communication strategies. Messages included health risks, non-health-related reasons to stop smoking, reasons people smoke, and tobacco products and marijuana. Strategies caregivers used to communicate their tobacco-related messages included sharing personal or their families' experience with smoking, using humor, and role-playing. Finally, embedded within all of the themes, participants expressed their disapproval of tobacco use, whether it was directed at their own use, their adolescents' use, a family members' use, or peers' use. African American maternal caregivers and their daughters openly talk about a variety of tobacco-related topics, and caregivers are open to sharing their own and their families' experience with substance use. Findings also suggest that having caregivers and their adolescents participate in discussions tasks could be potentially beneficial in facilitating discussions and could identify areas in which caregivers could use help in discussing sensitive topics.