Introduction: Little evidence regarding longitudinal predictors of cigarette smoking progression is available from developing countries. This study aimed to identify gender-specific individual and social predictors of cigarette smoking progression among a school-based sample of adolescents in Irbid, Jordan.
Methods: A total of 1781 seventh graders (participation rate 95%) were enrolled and completed an annual self-administered questionnaire from 2008 through 2011. Students who reported "ever-smoking a cigarette" at baseline or in the subsequent follow-up but not being "heavy daily smokers" (>10 cigarettes per day) were eligible for this analysis (N = 669). Grouped-time survival analyses were used to identify predictors of cigarette smoking progression in boys and girls.
Results: Among the study sample, 38.3% of students increased the frequency and /or amount of cigarette smoking during the 3 years of follow-up. Among individual factors, the urge to smoke in the morning predicted smoking progression for boys and girls. The independent predictors of cigarette smoking progression were friends' smoking and attending public schools in boys, and siblings' smoking in girls. Discussing the dangers of smoking with family members was protective for girls.
Conclusion: Boys and girls progressed similarly in cigarette smoking once they initiated the habit. Progression among girls was solely family-related, while it was peer-related for boys.
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