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Monkey See, Monkey Do
Parents have long known that their behavior is reflected in the behavior of their kids, but stepparents may not recognize the influence they have on their stepchildren—especially when it comes to negative habits.
Researchers at Cancer Research UK's Health Behavior Research Center at University College London have been conducting a five-year study on the health and behavior of teens. Those who live in stepfamilies were asked to report their smoking habits and have their self-reporting verified with a test for cotinine (a byproduct of nicotine) in their saliva.
Those who did smoke were often found to have a stepparent who smokes, which prompted researchers to suggest that stepparents should play a role in making sure teens don’t pick up the habit. If both you and your spouse smoke, you can try quitting together, for the health of your whole family. [Addiction]