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Ethnicity and school-level effect on CA student tobacco use

Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
Investigator(s): William McCarthy, Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 2004 (Cycle 13) Grant #: 13RT-0051H Award: $420,713
Subject Area: Epidemiology
Award Type: Research Project Awards
Abstracts

Initial Award Abstract
Researchers from UCLA, WestEd, the University of Southern California and the Tobacco Control Section, California Department of Health Services are collaborating on a three-year secondary analysis of the most extensive random sample data on California adolescent tobacco use ever assembled. The Independent Evaluation of TUPE programs (IETP) data were collected from California adolescents from 1995-96 through 2004 in five waves of data collection. These data resulted from state-mandated biennial evaluation of the state's tobacco use prevention efforts. The IETP measures school-level, district-level, and student-level influences on tobacco use. Per wave, the number of students sampled was approximately 17,600; the number of teachers sampled was approximately 650. The ethnic diversity of California's public school population permits sensitive tests of hypotheses involving comparisons between major ethnic groups.

The researchers are planning to examine the effect of ethnicity and acculturation on trends in various student tobacco use outcomes. The ethnic groups to be studied include: African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, non-Hispanic white and multiethnic. The investigators anticipate finding differences in 30-day smoking prevalence between major ethnic groups, with the highest smoking prevalence groups remaining high and the lowest prevalence groups remaining low throughout the 1996-2004 period, even though the absolute smoking rates have dropped for adolescents generally during the last decade. The researchers also expect to find differences between the major ethnic groups in the association of academic achievement and smoking rates. Higher levels of acculturation are expected to narrow the sex differences in smoking for each of the ethnic groups. Importantly, the researchers are planning to use multilevel modeling to properly examine the effects of various community, teacher and school-level factors on student tobacco use. School level effects will include retailer density and TUPE funding status. The hypothesis is that increased tobacco retailer density will be associated with increased student smoking prevalence. Finally the researchers are planning to compare the California Student Tobacco Survey (CSTS) prevalence estimates to estimates from four other surveys that were administered to multiethnic California youth during the same period as the 2001-2002 CSTS to examine the impact of different survey methods on observed tobacco use rates.

This proposed study will enable the researchers to conduct a scientifically rigorous examination of the effects of such individual influences as ethnicity and gender, in conjunction with teacher, school and community level measures. The potential impact of students’ environment on adolescent tobacco use has so far been under-researched or inadequately analyzed. More culturally appropriate tobacco use reduction strategies may result from this research which should help further reduce youth tobacco use. Sustained reduction of tobacco use by adolescents, in turn, should yield large social, quality-of-life, economic and health benefits for themselves and their communities
Publications

Influence of American acculturation on cigarette smoking behaviors among Asian American subpopulations in California.
Periodical: Nicotine and Tobacco Research Index Medicus:
Authors: An N, Cochran SD, Mays VM, McCarthy WJ ART
Yr: 2008 Vol: 10 Nbr: 4 Abs: Pg: 579-587