Online Program

Impact of Dating and Sexual Violence on Smoking among African-American Youth

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Corrine Williams, ScD, Department of Health Behavior, College of Public Health; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Sarah Cprek, MPH, College of Public Health- Department of Health, Behavior & Society, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Ibitola Asaolu, MPH, Family and Child Health Section, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Tucson, AZ
Linda Alexander, EdD, Department of Health Behavior, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, Lexington, KY
Pebbles Fagan, PhD, MPH, University of Hawaii Cancer Center, Honolulu, HI
Introduction: Studies have found that African American youth report lower rates of smoking and later ages of smoking initiation when compared with white adolescents. However, during adulthood the smoking prevalence rates reverse and African American adults report higher rates of smoking compared with Caucasians; a phenomenon known as the Age Crossover Hypothesis. In this presentation, we explore the role that violence victimization may play in this phenomenon. The objective of this study was to look at the association between dating violence and smoking behavior among African American adolescents.

Methods: Data from the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System was used for this study. Chi-square tests and logistic regression were used to evaluate the associations between dating and sexual violence and smoking behaviors (ever smoked, age at initiation, number of cigarettes smoked per day, daily smoking, and quit attempts).

Results: Overall, African American adolescents who reported dating and/or sexual violence were more likely to report that they had ever tried smoking (OR=1.99, 95% CI=1.47-2.68), to have been between 8-12 years old at first cigarette (OR=2.57, 95% CI=1.52-4.62), and to report smoking daily (OR=2.63, 95% CI=1.28-5.41).

Conclusions: This study represents one of the first attempts to examine the association between dating and sexual violence with multiple smoking behaviors, particularly among the subset of African American adolescents. Adolescents who have experienced dating and/or sexual violence may use smoking as a coping strategy, and interventions that seek to reduce smoking behaviors need to consider other behaviors that may serve as a replacement strategy.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe smoking behaviors of African-American adolescents Explain the difference in smoking status by reported experiences of violence

Keyword(s): Tobacco Use, Violence & Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have my doctoral degree in public health and have been conducting research on various aspects of maternal and child health, intimate partner violence, and dating violence for almost 15 years.
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.