200438 Depression and Actual Friend Tobacco Use on Perceptions of Use

Monday, November 9, 2009

Kari-Lyn K. Sakuma, PhD, MPH , Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, University of Southern California, Alhambra, CA
Janet Okamoto, MPH, CHES , Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, University of Southern California, Alhambra, CA
C. Anderson Johnson, PhD , School of Community and Global Health, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA
This study examined whether own smoking behaviors, actual smoking behaviors of friends and depressive symptoms contributed to perceptions of friend smoking prevalence rates. Two hundred thirty-four adolescents (45% male, 41% of whom had ever tried smoking) participated in this study. Students completed a self-report survey on their smoking behaviors, perceptions of friend norms, depressive symptoms, and nominations of their best friends in the class. Smoking behaviors of nominated friends were imported for each student to assess individuals' exposure to actual friend tobacco use. The results indicated that ever smoking (std beta=.599, p<.0001) and depressive symptoms (std beta=.296, p=.029) significantly contributed to perceptions of peer tobacco use norms (r-sq=.22, p<.0001) after controlling for gender. Despite a significant correlation between actual friend smoking and perceptions (r=.17, p<.02), actual friend smoking was not a significant predictor of perceptions when other socio-demographic variables were controlled for in the model. Those with depressive symptoms reported higher perceptions of friends who smoke than non-depressed adolescents (t=-2.22, p=.03) but there were no differences in actual friend smoking behaviors (t=.99, p>.10). This finding suggests that those with higher levels of depressive symptoms may have biased cognitions which put them at-risk for unhealthy behaviors. Social influences based smoking prevention programs, which often target peer smoking norms, would benefit from understanding how individual dispositions affect programming messages and can inform development of tailored effects for the most vulnerable populations.

Learning Objectives:
1. To assess the relationship between depression symptoms, actual environmental exposure to friend tobacco use, and perceptions of friend tobacco use; 2. To differentiate between actual and perceived peer tobacco use among adolescents with depressive symptoms compared to those without.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Tobacco

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD candidate who developed the hypotheses and completed the analyses.
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.