Peer-group association and adolescent tobacco use

J Abnorm Psychol. 1990 Nov;99(4):349-52. doi: 10.1037//0021-843x.99.4.349.


Mosbach & Leventhal (1988) examined the relation of cigarette smoking to peer-group identification in rural Wisconsin adolescents. They found that among dirts (problem-prone youth), regulars (average youth), hot-shots (good social or academic performers), and jocks (athletes), youth most likely to smoke were dirts and hot-shots. We performed a replication with a Southern California cohort and also for use of smokeless tobacco. We hypothesized that jocks would be the main users of smokeless tobacco. We identified the same groups and an additional one, skaters (skateboarders or surfers). As Mosbach & Leventhal found, cigarettes were used most by dirts. Contrary to their results, but consistent with other research, we found that hot-shots were least likely to smoke. Contrary to our prediction, we found that skaters and dirts were more likely to use smokeless tobacco than were jocks. Our data show that both tobacco forms are used by problem-prone youth.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peer Group*
  • Personality Development*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Social Identification*
  • Stereotyping