Exploring Peers as a Mediator of the Association Between Depression and Smoking in Young Adolescents

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychological Phenomena and Processes | Substance Abuse and Addiction


Recent research has suggested that depression causes teens to begin smoking to elevate their mood. Other studies, however, have suggested the reverse causal direction: smoking causes depression. To gain a more complete understanding of the relationship between smoking and depression, potential mediators should be explored. This study explored how peer influences could mediate the relationship between depression and smoking. The methodology of Baron and Kenney was followed to test for mediation and moderation. Peers mediated the relationship between depression and smoking. Separate analyses by gender showed that depression remained significantly associated with smoking when peers were included in the model for girls only. Peer influence was related to depressed affect for both genders. These results provide evidence that peer influences are an important variable to take into consideration when addressing a depression smoking relationship.

Rights Information

© 2005 Taylor & Francis, Ltd.