A Longitudinal Analysis of Stressful Life Events, Smoking Behaviors, and Gender Differences in a Multicultural Sample of Adolescents

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Gender and Sexuality | Health Psychology | Mental and Social Health | Multicultural Psychology | Public Health Education and Promotion | Substance Abuse and Addiction


Many studies have addressed the associations between stressful life events and adolescent smoking. Few studies, however, have examined gender differences, specifically with multicultural samples. This longitudinal study examines the relationship between 6 stress subscales and smoking behaviors 716 multicultural U.S. adolescents living in the greater Los Angeles area in 2000-2001. At baseline the ethnic break-down of the sample was 63% Latino and 26% Asian/PI and 70% were 11 years of age. Negative personal events were associated with lifetime smoking and negative school events were associated with intentions to smoke. Stratification of the sample by gender indicated that gender confounded the relationship between negative personal stress and lifetime smoking and negative school stress, positive personal stress and intentions to smoke. Two significant interactions were found. Findings indicate there are differential effects of stressful events between genders which may lead to smoking experimentation or intentions to smoke. Implications and limitations are discussed

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© 2008 Taylor & Francis, Ltd.