Association Between Psychological Factors and Adolescent Smoking in Seven Cities in China

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


Background: Cigarette smoking is a culturally accepted behavior among adult males in China. However, there is limited information on smoking among Chinese adolescents, particularly the information on the relationship between psychological well-being and smoking behavior among this population. Purpose: This study explored associations between three psychological factors—anxiety, hostility, and depressive symptoms—and smoking behavior among Chinese adolescents. Methods: The data presented in this study are a cross-sectional slice from a longitudinal investigation of tobacco use and lifestyle carried out in China. The study population consisted of 4,724 7th and 11th grade students from seven large cities in China. Results: Odds ratios showed that anxiety, hostility, and depressive symptoms were significantly associated with a higher risk of lifetime smoking for both boys and girls. Conclusion: Much like their Western counterparts, Chinese adolescents face developmental stress. The resulting distress may increase their risk for substance use and other health-risk behaviors.

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© 2008 International Society of Behavioral Medicine