Peer-Group Association and Adolescent Tobacco Use

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Substance Abuse and Addiction


P. Mosbach and H. Leventhal examined the relation of cigarette smoking to peer-group identification in rural Wisconsin adolescents. They found that among dirts (problem prone youth), regulars (average youth), hot-shots (good social or academic performers), and jocks (athletes), youth most likely to smoke were dirts and hot-shots. A replication was performed with a Southern California cohort and also for use of smokeless tobacco. The authors hypothesized that jocks would be the main users of smokeless tobacco and identified the same groups and an additional one, skaters (skateboarders or surfers). As Mosbach and Leventhal found, cigarettes were used most by dirts. Contrary to their results, but consistent with other research, hot-shots were least likely to smoke. Contrary to prediction, skaters and dirts were more likely to use smokeless tobacco than were jocks. Data show that both tobacco forms are used by problem-prone youth.


P. Mosbach and H. Leventhal's article, "Peer Group Identification and Smoking: Implications for Intervention," can be found through the American Psychological Association at http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/abn/97/2/238

Rights Information

© 1990 American Psychological Association