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Subst Use Misuse. 2003 Dec;38(14):1953-70.

Personality differences associated with smoking experimentation among adolescents with and without comorbid symptoms of ADHD.

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  • 1Lombardi Cancer Center, Departments of Oncology and Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20007-4104, USA.


This study evaluated differences in adolescent personality (novelty seeking, harm avoidance, and reward dependence), lifetime cigarette smoking, and symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) among 1051 youths enrolled in several public high schools in middle Atlantic towns in the United States in 2000 and 2001. Psychological and behavioral data were obtained via self-report on the Temperament and Character Inventory (personality), standard epidemiological survey items (smoking), and the Current Symptoms Scale (ADHD). The results indicated that adolescent "ever smokers" with high-normal symptoms of ADHD had the highest novelty seeking scores compared to all other study groups. These data highlight the greater "vulnerability" to smoking that is associated with novelty seeking and symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity. To the extent that novelty seeking and ADHD share cognitive and/or behavioral elements that may negatively impact upon youths' ability to attend to tobacco control communications, additional research on ways to adjust the delivery and content of smoking prevention and intervention program messages to meet the needs of these adolescents is warranted.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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