Trait anxiety and nicotine dependence in adolescents: a report from the DANDY study

Addict Behav. 2004 Jul;29(5):911-9. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2004.02.021.


The Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale (RCMAS) and the Hooked on Nicotine Checklist (HONC) were used to measure trait anxiety and tobacco dependence in a population of 581 adolescents. Smokers demonstrated higher mean RCMAS scores (9.3, S.D.=6.5) than nonsmokers did (7.4, S.D.=6.2, t=-3.7, P<.001). Participants with symptoms of tobacco dependence had higher RCMAS scores (mean=11.6, S.D.=6.0, n=115) than did the participants without symptoms (mean=7.8, S.D.=6.0, n=177, t=-5.3, P<.001). Scores on the RCMAS and the HONC correlated positively (n=292, r=.32, P<.001). Participants who had felt relaxed in response to their first exposure to nicotine were also more likely to develop dependence and to report that stress caused cravings or a need to smoke. Trait anxiety and relaxation in response to the first dose of nicotine were unrelated and appear to be independent risk factors for the development of nicotine dependence and a reliance on tobacco to cope with stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Humans
  • Manifest Anxiety Scale*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / psychology*