Psychosocial predictors of different stages of cigarette smoking among high school students

Prev Med. 1998 Sep-Oct;27(5 Pt 3):A9-18. doi: 10.1006/pmed.1998.0380.


Background: Current research on the etiology of cigarette smoking has largely focused on the identification of psychosocial predictors of tobacco onset. Few data are available on the predictors of different stages of smoking among adolescents. The present study examines the psychosocial predictors of different stages of smoking, including trial, experimental, and regular use, among high school students.

Method: The predictor variables were measured when the students were in the 7th grade. Logistic regression was used to predict different smoking stages at grade 12.

Results: The results show that four domains of psychosocial variables, including social and interpersonal factors, attitudinal and belief factors, intrapersonal factors, and use of other substances, predicted one or more stages of smoking. The important correlates of transition from trial to experimental use (all P value <0.001) included friends' smoking and approval, cigarette offers by friends, smoking intentions, school grade, and alcohol and marijuana use. The significant predictors of the transition from experimental to regular use included only parental smoking (P < 0.01) and family conflicts (P < 0.05). We found some gender differences in these predictors.

Conclusions: Psychosocial predictors may differ by different stages of smoking.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude to Health*
  • California / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Social Environment*