Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 331-346

First online:

Cultural diversity in the predictors of adolescent cigarette smoking: The relative influence of peers

  • Hope LandrineAffiliated withPublic Health Foundation
  • , Jean L. RichardsonAffiliated withInstitute for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Research, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California Medical School
  • , Elizabeth A. KlonoffAffiliated withBehavioral Health Institute, California State University
  • , Brian FlayAffiliated withPrevention Research Center, School of Public Health, University of Illinois

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A culturally diverse sample of 4375 adolescents completed a self-report inventory assessing their current amount of smoking, and several psychosocial predictors of smoking (e.g., depression, anger, stress, smoking among peers, etc). Results revealed that Whites smoke more than Blacks, Asians, and less acculturated Latinos but not more than highly acculturated Latinos. Stepwise regression analyses of the predictors of smoking found significant ethnic and acculturation differences in the relative predictive power of 18 well-known risk factors. Smoking among peers was the best predictor of smoking for White adolescents (accounting for 23.5% of the variance) but accounted for only 15% of the variance for Latino youth, 9.6% of the variance for Asian youth, and none of the variance for Black youth. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for smoking prevention programs that focus on resisting peer influences.

Key Words

adolescent smoking ethnic differences acculturation cultural diversity