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Development and prediction of adolescent smoking and drinking

TitleDevelopment and prediction of adolescent smoking and drinking
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsMaggi, S.
UniversityUniversity of British Columbia
Abstract

This study examines the development and etiology of cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking among Canadian children and adolescents. The National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) was employed first to identify the developmental trajectories of smoking and drinking and then to identify patterns of early prediction of occasional smoking, daily smoking, and infrequent drinking. Utilizing data from participants between 10 and 17 years of age, growth mixture modelling was used to identify sub-groups of children and adolescents following similar developmental trajectories in the acquisition of smoking (N=2,886) and drinking (N=2,181). Results of this portion of the study indicate that there is no one 'universal' way in which adolescent smoking and drinking develops over time; rather, acquisition of smoking and drinking is better characterized by a number of distinct developmental pathways. Employing a different NLSCY sample of 1,414 (for smoking) and 1,422 (for drinking) 14- and 15-year-old participants, multinomial and logistic regression analyses were used for the data reduction and modelling of the early predictors of smoking and drinking. Results of these analyses indicate that while the early pattern of prediction of occasional smoking was found to be associated with family interpersonal factors such as parenting and family functioning, the early pattern of prediction of daily smoking was found to be associated with individual level factors such as hyperactivity/inattention and poor health. This led to the development of the 'smoking as coping' model where two causal pathways are hypothesized: the self-medication pathway explaining daily smoking and the social-compensation pathway explaining occasional smoking. In contrast, we found that infrequent drinking could not be predicted by any individual or interpersonal risk factors, suggesting that it may simply be a normative behaviour among young adolescents. Interestingly, we found that children who did not drink at all were more likely to have had asthma and to be physically aggressive. These results contradict the dominant view where substance use, even in moderation, is believed to be associated with negative predictors.