Boys tend to foster friendship by engaging in shared behaviors whereas girls

Boys tend to foster friendship by engaging in shared

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and parents had less influence on girls from 10th to 12th grade. "Boys tend to foster friendship by engaging in shared behaviors, whereas girls are more focused on emotional sharing. So, it is possible that boys are adopting their friends' risky behaviors, like smoking, as the groups grow together over time," Liao said. The observations from this study present opportunities for intervention and may help to guide the implementation of adolescent smoking prevention programs, Liao said. "We observed a big dip in friends' effect on smoking behavior from eighth to ninth grade. Thus, the first year of high school represents an opportunity for interventions to counteract peer influence and to continue to target parents as their behavior remains influential through the end of high school," Liao said. "In addition, teaching students refusal skills during junior high school could be effective in decreasing cigarette use at the beginning of high school. Programs could also promote positive parenting skills to protect children from deviant peer influence." Liao suggests future research on sibling effects for a more complete picture of familial influence. The current study assessed sibling behavior only during junior high school.
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