Predictors of Cigarette Smoking among Inner-City Minority Youth

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Limited information is available concerning the etiology of smoking among minority youth. We examined predictors of smoking among inner-city African-American and Latino seventh graders (N = 757). Enhanced self-reports of cigarette smoking were collected along with data concerning background, social environmental, and individual characteristics hypothesized to promote smoking. Results indicated that friends and peers were the most important social influences in predicting smoking. Several psychological factors, including feelings of hopelessness, low efficacy in life skills (social skills, communication skills, and refusal skills) and low self-esteem seemed related to increased susceptibility to smoking. We discuss implications of our findings for effective prevention programs for minority youth. J Dev Behav Pediatr 15:67–73, 1994. Index terms: smoking, minority youth, social influences.

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