Background: While most research focuses on simply analyzing the differences between smokers and non-smokers, dose-response analyses may be used to find evidence of the nature of the association between psychosocial variables and involvement with smoking in adolescence.
Methods: For the study, 1,614 grade 8 students from Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, completed a self-administered questionnaire that included items on sociodemographic characteristics, experience with smoking, lifestyle, health and weight, work status, and social involvement as well as parental education, occupation, and family and peer smoking. A series of scales measuring self-esteem, stress, coping, social support, mastery, social conformity, and rebelliousness was incorporated.
Results: Dose-response relationships were evidenced for all categories of variables and were demonstrated for the total group and, in most cases, for males and females when analyzed separately.
Conclusions: Relationships between variables are not "all or none," but may vary depending on amount or level of other factors. These relationships provide insight into the mechanisms underlying initiation to, maintenance of, and cessation of smoking and should be taken into account in programs to reduce or prevent adolescent tobacco use.