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Am J Public Health. 2013 Mar;103(3):543-8. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300830. Epub 2013 Jan 17.

Individual and neighborhood socioeconomic status effects on adolescent smoking: a multilevel cohort-sequential latent growth analysis.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA.



We examined the prospective effects of parental education (as a proxy for individual socioeconomic status [SES]) and neighborhood SES on adolescent smoking trajectories and whether the prospective effects of individual SES varied across neighborhood SES.


The study included 3635 randomly recruited adolescents from 5 age cohorts (12-16 years) assessed semiannually for 3 years in the Minnesota Adolescent Community Cohort study. We employed a cohort-sequential latent growth model to examine smoking from age 12 to 18 years with predictors.


Lower individual SES predicted increased levels of smoking over time. Whereas neighborhood SES had no direct effect, the interaction between individual and neighborhood SES was significant. Among higher and lower neighborhood SES, lower individual SES predicted increased levels of smoking; however, the magnitude of association between lower individual SES and higher smoking levels was significantly greater for higher neighborhood SES.


We found evidence for differential effects of individual SES on adolescent smoking for higher and lower neighborhood SES. The group differences underscore social conditions as fundamental causes of disease and development of interventions and policies to address inequality in the resources.

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