Personality-targeted prevention for adolescent tobacco use: Three-year outcomes for a randomised trial in Australia

Prev Med. 2021 Dec:153:106794. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2021.106794. Epub 2021 Sep 8.


This is the first study to investigate the effectiveness of Preventure, a selective personality-targeted prevention program, in reducing the uptake of tobacco smoking over a three-year period in adolescence. A cluster randomised controlled trial was conducted to assess the effectiveness of Preventure. Schools were block randomised to either the Preventure group (n = 7 schools) or the Control group (n = 7 schools) and students were assessed at five time points (baseline, 6-, 12-, 24- and 36-months post-baseline) on measures of tobacco use, intentions to use and self-efficacy to resist peer pressure to smoke tobacco. Intervention effects were estimated using mixed models to account for the hierarchical data structure. Exploratory analyses assessed intervention effects among internalising and externalising personality traits. This trial is registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12612000026820; A total of 1005 adolescents (mean age: 13.4 years, SD = 0.47) attending 14 Australian schools in February 2012 were recruited to the study. Relative to students in Control schools, students in Preventure schools were less likely to report recent tobacco use (OR = 0.66 95% CI = 0.50, 0.87) and intentions to use tobacco in the future (OR = 0.77 95% CI = 0.60, 0.97) over the three-year follow-up. Students in Preventure schools with internalising personality traits had a greater increase in their likelihood to report high self-efficacy to resist peer pressure to smoke sustained three-years post program delivery (OR = 1.85 95% CI = 1.0, 3.4). Findings from this study support the use of selective personality-targeted preventive interventions in reducing tobacco smoking during adolescence.

Keywords: Personality-targeted; Prevention; School; Tobacco; Young people.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking* / prevention & control
  • Australia
  • Humans
  • Personality
  • School Health Services*
  • Schools
  • Tobacco Use / prevention & control

Associated data

  • ANZCTR/ACTRN12612000026820