Dieting and its relationship to smoking, acculturation, and family environment in Asian and Hispanic adolescents

Eat Disord. 2003 Spring;11(1):51-61. doi: 10.1080/10640260390167483.


The objective of this article was to examine dieting and its relationship to smoking behaviors and attitudes, acculturation, and family environment in an ethnically diverse sample of adolescents. Participants were 211 adolescent girls and boys: 57% Asian, 16% Hispanic, 27% White. Regular dieting was determined using the Restraint Scale (Herman, 1978). Dependent variables were measured using the Smoking Beliefs and Attitude Questionnaire (Pederson & Lefcoe, 1985), Family Functioning in Adolescence Questionnaire (Roelofse & Middleton, 1985), and Suinn-Lew Asian Self-Identity Acculturation Scale (Suinn, Rickard-Figurroa, Lew, & Vigil, 1987). Dieting girls, as compared to nondieters, had more favorable attitudes toward smoking, more strongly believed that smoking keeps one from eating, and first experimented with cigarettes at an older age. Chronic dieting was related to reports of poorer family functioning, and Asian dieters were more acculturated than nondieters. For boys, there was no relationship between dieting and smoking, acculturation, or family environment. Smoking prevention programs targeted toward ethnic minority adolescent females need to address the issue of weight concern.