BACKGROUND Adolescents residing in low-income public housing developments in inner-city regions may be particularly vulnerable to a variety of risk factors associated with cigarette smoking.
OBJECTIVE To elucidate the aetiology of cigarette smoking among adolescents living in public housing developments.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND SUBJECTS We examined predictors of smoking from four domains: background characteristics, social influences, behavioural control, and psychosocial characteristics using a sample of seventh graders (mean age 12.9 years) who reside in public housing developments in New York City (n = 624). The addresses of participants in a larger investigation of the aetiology and prevention of smoking were checked to determine if they lived in one of 335 public housing developments in New York City. All participants living in public housing developments were included in the current study.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES African-American and Hispanic students completed questionnaires about their cigarette use, social pressures to smoke, smoking attitudes, smoking knowledge, and smoking resistance skills. Students also provided information on demographic and behavioural control (such as church and school attendance).
RESULTS Logistic regression analyses indicated that social influences from friends and family members predicted smoking. Psychosocial characteristics such as advertising resistance skills, anti-smoking attitudes, and refusal skills lowered the odds of smoking.
CONCLUSIONS These findings suggest that smoking prevention approaches targeted at these young people should increase their awareness of social pressures to smoke, correct misperceptions about the prevalence of smoking among friends, and teach relevant psychosocial skills.
- smoking initiation predictors
- smoking prevention
- public housing developments
- psychosocial risk factors
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