Objective: To examine cross-sectionally and prospectively relationships of cigarette smoking with major depressive disorder (MDD), controlling for comorbidity in a community sample of adolescents.
Method: A representative sample of 1,709 adolescents (aged 14 through 18 years) was assessed by using semistructured diagnostic interviews on two occasions, approximately 1 year apart. Logistic regression analyses were used to examine cross-sectionally and prospectively the relationships between smoking and each psychiatric disorder, while statistically controlling for the other disorders.
Results: Cross-sectional analyses revealed significant relationships of drug abuse/dependence and disruptive behavior disorders with adolescent smoking, even after the co-occurrence of all other disorders was controlled. Prospectively, smoking was found to increase the risk of developing an episode of MDD and drug abuse/dependence, after adjusting for other disorders. Finally, only lifetime prevalence of MDD remained a significant predictor of smoking onset, after controlling for other disorders. Gender did not moderate any of the relationships between psychopathology and smoking.
Conclusions: The results suggest important relationships between cigarette smoking and psychiatric disorders among adolescents, particularly with regard to MDD, drug abuse/dependence, and disruptive behavior disorders. These findings have important clinical implications, both for psychiatric care and for smoking prevention and cessation efforts with adolescents.