Objective: To examine the associations between parental and individual psychiatric disorders and smoking stages among Puerto Rican youth from migrant and non-migrant families.
Method: Analyses were conducted drawing on data collected as part of a migrant family study examining youth at high and low risk for substance use disorders based on the presence or absence of a parental history of substance abuse or dependence. Parents and their offspring were recruited in San Juan, Puerto Rico (n=450) and New Haven, CT, USA (n=350).
Results: Experimental smoking among adolescent offspring was associated with parent proband disorders. In contrast, regular smoking behavior, defined as at least weekly smoking for a month or more, and DSM-IV nicotine dependence were more strongly associated with the adolescents' own psychiatric disorders. With the exception of anxiety disorders, significant bivariate associations were shown between each psychiatric/substance use disorder and nicotine dependence. Once comorbidity was statistically controlled, only attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and alcohol and drug use disorders were significantly associated with nicotine dependence. After controlling for adolescents' psychiatric comorbidity, there was an association between parental disorders and both experimental and regular smoking in their adolescent offspring.
Conclusions: By combining family and migrant research strategies within a single study, the present investigation was able to simultaneously examine familial, individual and sociocultural factors that may play a role in development and/or persistence of smoking behavior among Puerto Rican adolescents.