Nicotine dependence and problem behaviors among urban South African adolescents
- 181 Downloads
Tobacco use and its concomitant, nicotine dependence, are increasing in African countries and other parts of the developing world. However, little research has assessed nicotine dependence in South Africa or other parts of the African continent. Previous research has found that adolescent problem behaviors, including tobacco use, tend to cluster. This study examined the relationship between nicotine dependence and adolescent problem behaviors in an ethnically diverse sample of urban South African adolescents. A community sample (N = 731) consisting of “Black,” “White,” “Coloured,” and “Indian” youths aged 12–17 years was drawn from the Johannesburg metropolitan area. Structured interviews were administered by trained interviewers. Nicotine dependence was assessed by the Fagerström Test of Nicotine Dependence. Logistic regression analyses showed that higher levels of nicotine dependence significantly predicted elevated levels of violent behavior, deviant behavior, marijuana and other illegal drug use, binge drinking, early sexual intercourse, multiple sexual partners, and inconsistent condom use, despite control on the adolescents’ demographic characteristics, peer smoking, conflict with parents, peer deviance, and the availability of legal and illegal substances. These relationships were robust across ethnicity and gender. The findings indicate the need for policy makers and prevention and intervention programs in South Africa to consider adolescent nicotine dependence in conjunction with comorbid problem behaviors, including other substance use, sexual risk behaviors, and deviant behaviors.
KeywordsNicotine dependence Problem behaviors South African adolescents
The authors thank the Community Agency for Social Enquiry (CASE) for the data collection, and Zohn Rosen for assisting in writing preliminary versions of the Methods and Results sections. The work for this study was performed at NYU School of Medicine. This study was funded by two grants from the National Institutes of Health (USA): TW05391, awarded by the Fogarty International Center to Dr. David W. Brook; and Research Scientist Award DA00244, from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to Dr. Judith S. Brook.
Conflicts of interest statement
The material contained in this manuscript represents original work, has not been published elsewhere, and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Our findings pose no conflicts of interest. The authors have full control of all primary data and agree to allow the journal to review the data if requested.
- Catalano, R. F., & Hawkins, J. D. (1996). The social development model: A theory of antisocial behavior. In J. D. Hawkins (Ed.), Delinquency and crime: Current theories. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Dolcini, M. M., Adler, N. E., Lee, P., & Bauman, K. E. (2003). An assessment of the validity of adolescent self-reported smoking using three biological indicators. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 5, 473–483.Google Scholar
- Elliott, D. S., Huizinga, D., & Menard, S. (1989). Multiple problem youth: Delinquency, substance use, and mental health problems. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Jersild, A. T., Brook, J. S., & Brook, D. W. (1978). The psychology of adolescence (3rd ed.). New York: MacMillan.Google Scholar
- Jessor, R., Donavan, J. E., & Costa, F. M. (1991). Beyond adolescence: Problem behavior and young adult development. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Kandel, D. B. (1996). The parental and peer contexts of adolescent deviance: An algebra of interpersonal influences. Journal of Drug Issues, 26, 289–315.Google Scholar
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (2005). Monitoring the future. national results on adolescent drug use. overview of key findings 2004. National Institutes of Health. US Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
- Reddy, S. P., Panday, S., Swart, D., Jinabhai, C. C., Amosun, S. L., James, S., et al. (2003). Umthenthe Uhlaba Usamila: The South African youth risk behaviour survey 2002. Cape Town: South African Medical Research Council.Google Scholar
- Schaefer, E. S., & Finkelstein, N. W. (1975). Child behavior toward parents: An inventory and factor analysis. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
- Yazidi, A. (2002). Smoking in Casablanca hospitals: Knowledge, attitudes and practices. Revue des Maladies Respiratoires, 19, 405–408.Google Scholar