The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4009.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Board 5

Abstract #41791

Antecedents of cigarette smoking trajectories among urban, African-American adolescents

Stevenson Fergus, MPH and Marc Zimmerman, PhD. School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1420 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, 734-302-3089,

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, and tobacco initiation typically occurs during adolescence. Most research on adolescent smoking has been conducted with samples that are largely white and suburban. Because patterns and causes of smoking may vary by ethnicity or area of residence, research that focuses on different groups in urban settings is necessary. This study investigates antecedents of smoking in a longitudinal study of 681 urban, African-American adolescents. Participants were interviewed annually from the ninth through the twelfth grades. We examine participants’ smoking behaviors across time to identify several longitudinal trajectories: consistent abstainers, experimenters/light smokers, accelerators, quitters, and consistent heavy smokers. We compared trajectory groups on psychological well-being, school-related variables, problem behaviors and attitudes, peer influences, family influences, and extracurricular activity participation. We found that during the first waves the experimenters and accelerators’ smoking behaviors do not differ on peer influences, but diverge by wave four. The accelerators reported lower levels of positive friend influence (t=2.71, p<.05), and higher levels of negative friend influence (t=–1.97, p=.05), at that wave. At wave one, the experimenters report higher levels of anxiety (t=3.34, p<.05), depression (t=2.01, p<.05), and lower levels of self-acceptance (t=–2.14, p<.05) than do the accelerators, though these groups do not differ on those variables at wave four. We did not find evidence for differences between experimenters and accelerators on school-related variables or family influences. We discuss how our results can inform improved smoking prevention interventions among urban, African-American adolescents.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Tobacco Use among Diverse Populations Poster Session

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA