Influences Affecting Adolescent Smoking Behavior in China

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

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Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatry and Psychology | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion | Substance Abuse and Addiction


This study examined multiple influences on the use of tobacco by adolescents in China. Using the theory of triadic influences as a guide, we selected interpersonal, attitudinal/cultural, and intrapersonal constructs from baseline data to predict adolescent smoking 1 year later. We used prospective data from middle and high school students (N=11,583) and their parents from the China Seven Cities Study, a longitudinal study that is evaluating the effects of changing economic and social factors on health behaviors including tobacco use. A multilevel regression analysis provided some support that each of the influences in the theory of triadic influences affects adolescent smoking in China. After adjusting for important confounders including age, gender, socioeconomic status, and smoking behaviors (lifetime and past 30-day) at baseline, we found significant risk factors within each of the three categories, including interpersonal influences (parental monitoring, good friend smoking, and peer smoking), attitudinal/cultural influences (school academic ranking, initial liking of smoking, and the meaning of smoking), and intrapersonal influences (susceptibility to smoking, and low self-confidence to quit smoking). Results suggest that the etiology of smoking among adolescents in China might be similar to that observed in western countries and that some of the techniques used successfully in prevention programs in those countries might be useful guides when developing prevention programs in China.

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© 2006 Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco

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