Researchers from UCLA and WestEd are collaborating to analyze three years worth of data from the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS), data collected from 1998 through 2001 from approximately 429,000 California teenagers. The CHKS includes measures of tobacco use, diet, physical activity, alcohol and drug use. The survey is mandated by the California legislature, to provide feedback to school districts every two years about their students’ health-related behaviors. The sample of students completing the CHKS is big enough so that reliable conclusions can be drawn for less well-known ethnic groups that have not been described in earlier surveys, such as Native Americans, Central Americans, Laotians, Cambodians, Cubans, as well as students with mixed ethnic ancestry. With a third year of CHKS questionnaires being completed by June 30, 2001, it will also be possible to see how much tobacco use behaviors have changed in the estimated 300 schools whose students will have completed the CHKS both in the first and third years of administering the CHKS.
This project has three specific aims:
To describe tobacco use rates among California middle school and high school students at the state-, county-, and school-level.
To investigate racial/ethnic differences in student tobacco use onset, beliefs about tobacco, efforts to quit smoking as well as the conditions associated with continued smoking or with long-term refusal to use tobacco. Also to investigate how much tobacco use might be associated with other health behaviors & attitudes, such as drug use, perceived harm from smoking, food choices, and concerns about weight. These associations would be compared across different racial/ethnic groups. To describe changes in tobacco use and associated behaviors and beliefs that occurred from Year 1 of the CHKS to Year 3 of the CHKS, for the 300 schools whose students have re-taken the CHKS.
Analyses will proceed systematically, beginning with efforts to correct the data for missing data and then descriptive results by age, gender and major ethnic identification. Methods will then be used to examine whether lifestyle patterns observed in one gender-by-ethnicity subgroup are similar to or different from the lifestyle patterns observed in other groups. Other state-of-the-art methods will then be used to examine differences in tobacco use patterns across different groups, defined by age, gender, or ethnic background.
This proposed study has the potential to tell us new information about ethnic differences in youth tobacco use. It may also tell us how much tobacco use behavior is associated with predictable patterns of other health-related behaviors including eating habits, physical activity choices, alcohol and other drug use. Finally, this proposal is designed to provide a more detailed understanding of “social” or “intermittent” smoking. The overall intent of the proposed research is to identify new behaviors and environmental influences that may influence adolescent tobacco use. Innovative tobacco use reduction strategies can then use this new knowledge to encourage youth to reduce their tobacco use. Sustained reduction of tobacco use by adolescents, in turn, should yield predictably large social, quality of life, economic and health benefits for themselves and their communities. |