The association between smoking and unhealthy behaviors among a national sample of Mexican-American adolescents

J Sch Health. 1998 Nov;68(9):376-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.1998.tb07204.x.


This study examined the relationship between smoking and participation in unhealthy behaviors among Mexican-American adolescents through a secondary analysis of national data. Mexican-American adolescents (N = 580), ages 10 through 18 years who were interviewed as part of the 1993 Teenage Attitudes and Practices Survey (TAPS II), were selected for analysis. Data collected included smoking status of the adolescent and participation in certain unhealthy behaviors. Among girls in the study, smokers were more likely to not wear a seat belt, be involved in physical fighting, not be involved in organized sports, perform poorly in school, say they like to do risky things, and ride in a car with a drunk or high driver. For boys, smoking was significantly associated with liking to do risky things, fighting, not attending church, and poor academic performance. These results suggest that Mexican-American adolescents who smoke may be at higher risk for engaging in behaviors that could compromise their health and safety, and for not being involved in activities that may exert a protective influence.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / ethnology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Behavior / ethnology*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans / psychology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / ethnology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States