187096 African American adolescent smoking behaviors: Social norms as correlates of smoking status

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jessica L. Muilenburg, PhD , Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Lucy Annang, PhD, MPH , Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC
Stuart Usdan, PhD , Department of Health Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Background: Research has shown that social norms may be an indicator of adolescent risk behavior, however less is known about the influence of these norms on different types of smoking behavior in African-American youth. The purpose of this study is to examine the smoking behaviors of African-American youth and the association of these behaviors with social norms.

Methods: Data were collected via paper-and-pencil survey from high school students in a large southeastern city (N=3,128). Using logistic regression, we investigated which social norm variables were more likely to predict “ever smoking” and “current smoking” in African American youth.

Results: Ever smoking was predicted by being older (OR=1.2), seeing a parent smoke (OR=1.78), having a home where any one can smoke (OR=1.35), having a friend who smokes (OR=2.57), thinking smoking makes you popular (OR=1.3), receiving cigarette apparel (OR=1.71), and the willingness to wear cigarette apparel (OR=1.4). Current smoking status was predicted by being older (OR=1.29), being male (OR=1.9), having no restrictions at home (OR=2.7), having a friend who smokes (OR=5.6), thinking smoking makes you look cool (OR=1.49), not being exposed to tv ads against smoking (OR=1.13), receiving cigarette apparel (OR=2.7), willingness to wear cigarette apparel (OR=1.32), and living with a smoker (OR=1.4).

Conclusion: Similar attitudes and beliefs suggestive of social norms were predictive of both ever smoking and current smoking status. Interventionists should continue to assess the influences of smoking behavior as these findings suggest that influencing social norm beliefs, regardless of smoking status, may positively affect behavior change among African-American youth.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the importance of social norms in smoking behaviors in African American adolescents. 2. Define the problem of smoking in an adolescent population 3. Describe differences in smoking behavior correlates.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: artilces, research, grants
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.