Prospective relations of body image, eating, and affective disturbances to smoking onset in adolescent girls: how Virginia slims

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2003 Feb;71(1):129-35. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.71.1.129.


This study tested whether body image, eating, and affective disturbances prospectively predicted onset of cigarette smoking in adolescent girls (N = 496). Elevated body dissatisfaction and eating pathology, as well as elevated negative affectivity, showed significant univariate relations to subsequent onset of smoking. In the multivariate model, the effect for body image and eating disturbances remained significant, but the effect for negative affectivity did not. Results support the theory that body image and eating disturbances markedly increase risk for smoking initiation in adolescent girls and further establish the clinical significance of these disturbances. Results also support the theory that negative affect is a risk factor for smoking initiation but suggest that the self-medication model may have less predictive power than previously concluded.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Image*
  • Child
  • Energy Intake*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Somatoform Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires