Predictors of Cigarette Smoking in Latino Adolescents
Initial Award Abstract
Despite a gradual decrease in cigarette smoking rates among adults over the past 30 years, little progress has been made in changing adolescent smoking behavior since 1980. The onset of tobacco use among young adults has become much less frequent and most initiation now takes place in adolescence. There has been an unexplained decrease in smoking among African American youth from 15.7% in 1980 to 4.4% in 1993, despite minimal change in rates among White youth in the same time period (21.8% in 1980 and 22.9% in 1993). Smoking rates among African American adolescents showed that 67% reported lifetime cigarette use (Trying), 20% current cigarette use (2 1 day in previous month), and 6% frequent use (2 20 days in previous month). Defining what protective factors exist among African American adolescents may assist understanding of how to prevent smoking initiation for all youth.
The longterm aim of the study proposed here is to identify those characteristics of African American youth that by predicting initiation and continued use of cigarettes will need to be addressed in culturallyappropriate prevention programs to be developed in the future. Specific aims are: 1) To identify predictors of each of three stages of cigarette smoking behavior (Trying, Experimentation, and Regular Use) in a cohort of African American youth of both genders over two years of annual followups; and 2) To evaluate the role of six domains of variables in predicting each of three stages of cigarette smoking (Trying, Experimentation, and Regular Use) among African American youth of each gender. The predictor domains are: (a) social environment (e.g., smoking modeling by adults and peers, normative beliefs of smoking prevalence); (b) intrapersonal characteristics (e.g., depression, risk taking); (c) knowledge about health effects of cigarette smoking; (d) attitudes (e.g., expectations about smoking and stereotypes about smokers); (e) normative beliefs about cigarette smoking (i.e., beliefs of important others regarding cigarette smoking); and, (f) intentions to try, experiment, or smoke cigarettes. These domains of predictors were chosen because they have shown promise in previous studies of cigarette smoking onset and are susceptible to modification through shortterm prevention interventions. The study proposed here comprises a longitudinal study of a randomly selected cohort of African American children. The cohort will initially include nonsmoking children of both genders aged 10 to 12 years at the time of first testing. The cohort will be randomly selected from residents in the San Francisco Bay area and will be interviewed in their homes every year for four years. The parent(s) of the children will also be interviewed at the same time as the youth. The study will utilize culturally appropriate instruments (specially developed to reflect the group's culture) that will be selfadministered at home in the presence of the interviewers. All youth respondents will be asked to provide a saliva sample as a bogus pipeline and 25% of all saliva samples will be biochemically validated. The study proposed here will test the proposed passage through stages in the process of acquisition of cigarette smoking separately among boys and girls of each ethnic or racial group. In addition, at each of the three acquisition stages being studied here (trying, experimentation, regular use), a latent variables model will be tested in terms of its predictive value. |