Leslie A. Robinson, Ph.D. (Director)
Psychology Building, Room 334
Summary of Grants
Parents Actively Controlling Tobacco (PACT)
A substantial proportion of children obtain their first cigarettes from family members
without the adult’s knowledge. Our research has shown that among adolescent smokers,
nearly 31% had stolen cigarettes from a family member, with 13.2% stealing from their
mother, 7.7% stealing from their father, and 11.5% stealing from their siblings (Robinson,
Dalton, & Nicholson, 2006). These findings extend the work of other authors, who
also found that adolescents frequently report getting their first cigarettes at home
(DiFranza & Coleman, 2001).
Despite this research, no previous study has developed and evaluated a program designed
to encourage parents to control their tobacco products. A logical point of intervention
lies in physicians’ practices, because 90% of children see a health care professional
each year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). Research has shown
that physician- administered interventions are effective at reducing tobacco use directly
among adolescents (Hum, Robinson, Jackson, & Ali, 2011; Shelley et al., 2000), reducing
environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure among children (Hovell, Zakarian, Wahlgren,
& Matt, 2000), and reducing parental smoking (Winickoff, 2005). Notably, even parents
who smoke support pediatricians’ efforts to reduce smoking among children, and adult
smokers are more amenable to discussions regarding smoking than physicians believe
they are (Moss, Cluss, Mesiano, & Kip, 2006).
Thus, this study was designed to:
(1) Develop, implement, and evaluate a program to train physicians to interact with
parents who smoked about tobacco control using a motivational interviewing framework.
(2) Examine whether pediatricians’ knowledge about smoking, attitudes towards smoking,
and other outcomes changed from baseline (prior to training program) to follow-up.
(3) Examine the efficacy of the physician intervention on parent outcomes by examining
potential changes in the parents’ knowledge about teen smoking, attitudes toward it,
and tobacco control behaviors.
Data collection for this project is completed. We are currently analyzing the data,
and the initial analyses have been presented to the TN American Academy of Pediatrics.
Briefly, we found that parents significantly increased their tobacco control behaviors
after the intervention. In addition, parents tightened tobacco control for adults
in their homes, and overall, children’s exposure to second-hand smoke was reduced.
We are currently in the process of writing up these results for conferences and manuscript.
OTHER DATASETS AVAILABLE
Our lab has a number of large datasets available that were created through grant funding.
Each of these is briefly described below. Manuscripts are being produced from each
of these unique datasets.
Memphis Health Project (MHP)
The Memphis Health Project was a 10 year study of a cohort of approximately 7,000
7th graders recruited through the Memphis City Schools. Each year students were asked
to complete surveys assessing smoking status and background variables thought to promote
smoking. Thus, this project offers an exceptionally large dataset with a wide range
of variables on both African American and Caucasian youth.
Memphis Smoking Prevention Program
The Memphis Smoking Prevention Program involved randomizing the entire 7th grade of
the Memphis City Schools either to receive tobacco prevention programming or to continue
typical programming. The intervention was offered for one week each year for five
years as the treatment group advanced through school, with the prevention program
changing to match the advancing developmental age of the children. Baseline comparisons
of treatment and control conditions have been published, indicating significant benefits
of the program. However, the database could support considerable continued analysis.
Start to Stop
Conducted in collaboration with Dr. Robert Klesges, this study represented one of
the first cessation programs developed specifically for young smokers. Despite our
best efforts, results did not reveal significant benefits of intervention on quit
rates—a finding that has been common among studies aiming to help teens quit. Further
research could be conducted with this complex database.
Adolescent Cessation and Evaluation Study
Why don’t teens who smoke respond well to cessation programs? The purpose of this
study was to determine which components of cessation programs are most acceptable
to adolescent smokers. This study presented young smokers with various brief components
usually included in cessation programs, gathering data on how they viewed each component.
In addition, we tracked quit attempts made by this cohort as they moved though the
program. Data analysis on this project is still active.