Models of the relationship of stress, depression, and other psychosocial factors to smoking behavior: a comparison of a cohort of students in grades 6 and 8

Prev Med. 2000 Jun;30(6):463-77. doi: 10.1006/pmed.2000.0671.


Background: Six specific hypotheses regarding putative mechanisms by which stressful life events might lead to initiation of smoking among adolescents were proposed and tested on a Grade 6 cohort of students in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. In addition, the data were used to determine the set of risk factors for initiation of smoking most pertinent to the experience of the cohort.

Methods: The same relationships were examined for the 1,543 students when they were in Grade 8 and compared to the earlier Grade 6 results. The hypotheses include the effects of personal resources (coping, self-esteem, social support, and mastery), social conformity, rebelliousness, attitudes, smoking environment factors, and gender differences.

Results: The hypotheses were not unequivocally supported, except for the hypotheses about attitudes and smoking environment as well as gender effects. Males and females differ with regard to the variables and interrelationships in both years and in the final models developed. In Grade 6, there are more smoking environment items for males than for females. By Grade 8, male smoking is influenced by mastery, social conformity, and rebelliousness, while for females environmental smoking and rebelliousness are important.

Conclusion: Male and female students differ in how stress, depression, and smoking are related in the presence of psychosocial factors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Canada
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depression*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Ontario
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Concept
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Social Conformity
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological*