This study assessed the discrepancies between reports from parents and adolescents concerning family relationships and the use of tobacco and alcohol by adolescents. Data were obtained from a sample of 2015 parent-adolescent dyads recruited from 30 junior high schools in Taipei City and Taouyun County, Taiwan, in 2010. The results indicated that more than 90% of parent-adolescent dyads agreed to no tobacco/alcohol use by adolescents. More than half (38 parents; 68%) of responding parents were unaware of the tobacco use that was reported by 56 adolescents in this study. A high percentage (133 parents; 93.7%) of the responding parents were unaware of the alcohol use reported by 142 adolescents in this study. Parents reported higher levels of parent-adolescent attachment, communication, monitoring and teaching than was reported by their adolescent children. Multivariate logistic regression results showed that lower ratings by adolescents on questions of family attachment, poor academic performance and delinquent behaviour were associated with parental unawareness of tobacco use. Likewise, low adolescent ratings of family communication and delinquent behaviour by adolescents could be used to predict parental unawareness of alcohol use by their adolescent children.
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