A longitudinal study of adolescent risk-taking behaviour

Research has shown that smoking and drinking typically begin in adolescence. Stefania Maggi is studying the role of family, peers, school and neighbourhoods in developing risk-taking behaviours including smoking and drinking. She aims to identify the factors present early in life — such as parenting styles and socioeconomic conditions — that can predict smoking and drinking during adolescence. Stefania is closely examining how socioeconomic conditions shape the way parents relate to their children, and how the relationship between self-concept and affiliation with peers influences smoking and drinking. While other researchers have addressed these issues, few studies have examined a representative sample of Canadian children on a long-term basis. Stefania is analyzing data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth. Her study will make a valuable contribution to programs aimed at reducing smoking and drinking among adolescents.