Longitudinal Effects of Hostility, Depression, and Bullying on Adolescent Smoking Initiation

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Health Psychology | Mental and Social Health | Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology | Substance Abuse and Addiction



The present study examined the associations between smoking initiation and, hostility, depressive symptoms, and bullying (bullies and bully-victims) among a culturally diverse sample of 1,771 adolescents who reported never having smoked at baseline.


Data were obtained from a longitudinal school-based experimental trial of smoking prevention programs in Southern California. Annual survey was performed for students of the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. All students in the 24 participating schools were invited to participate in the study during the sixth grade.


The risk of smoking initiation was significantly higher among students who scored higher on hostility and depressive symptoms, and were bully-victims.


The findings suggest that tobacco prevention programs should include strategies for managing hostile feelings and negative effect as part of the curriculum. In addition, it might be helpful to identify youth who score high on these psychosocial factors and teach them skills to handle interpersonal conflict and negative feelings to prevent their involvement in substance use.

Rights Information

© 2011 Society for Adolescent Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc.