Smoking, Substance Use, and Mental Health Correlates in Urban Adolescent Girls
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- Groth, S.W. & Morrison-Beedy, D. J Community Health (2011) 36: 552. doi:10.1007/s10900-010-9340-8
This study examined the associations among smoking tobacco and/or cannabis with alcohol use, depression, disordered eating and healthy behaviors among adolescent girls enrolled in an HIV prevention intervention randomized trial. Baseline self-reported behaviors from 744 sexually active, low-income, urban participants were collected using an audio computer assisted self interview. Girls ranged in age from 15 to 19 years old with a mean age of 16.5. Over 16% of girls reported smoking cigarettes, 41% smoked cannabis and 12% used both substances. Girls who smoked either substance had higher scores for depression symptoms, alcohol use and disordered eating when compared to nonsmokers. Girls who used both substances were at a higher risk for alcohol use, depression symptoms and disordered eating. The association of cannabis and tobacco with the other health related issues differed depending on age, indicating that assessment and targeting of health behavior interventions may differ depending on a girl’s age. Disordered eating, depressive symptoms and cannabis use were higher among these adolescent girls than previously documented in the literature, suggesting that to improve the health of this population multi-focused interventions must target girls before they have engaged in smoking.