A multiple discriminant analysis of smoking status and health-related attitudes and behaviors

Am J Prev Med. 1990 Nov-Dec;6(6):323-9.


Using multiple discriminant analysis, we examined several health-related attitudes and behaviors (HABs) simultaneously across groups of university students differing by smoking status (n = 1,077). Nine HABs were considered: health responsibility, exercise, nutrition, interpersonal support, stress management, alcohol consumption, drug use, caffeine consumption, and safety practices. Overall, the findings indicated that HABs, particularly those involving substance use, differed among the smoking and nonsmoking groups. Furthermore, current smokers, former smokers, and nonsmokers represented a continuum of less healthful to more healthful attitudes and behaviors. In general, compared to men, women exhibited more positive HABs with respect to interpersonal support, health responsibility, alcohol consumption, and drug use, but less positive HABs with respect to stress management. More complex relationships emerged in comparisons of occasional and regular smokers, light and heavy smokers, and consonant and dissonant smokers. We discuss implications of the findings for smoking intervention programs.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Midwestern United States
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Physiological / psychology