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J Adolesc Health. 2006 Jan;38(1):44-54.

Personality, attitudinal and behavioral risk profiles of young female binge drinkers and smokers.

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Community Mental Health Services, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, California, USA.



Analyses were conducted to identify personality, attitudinal and behavioral correlates of binge drinking and smoking among adolescent girls and young women, a population whose substance use attitudes and behaviors have received only limited attention in the literature.


A nationally representative sample of girls and young women (n = 929) from three age cohorts completed a telephone interview assessing various personality, attitudinal, and behavioral characteristics. Respondents were categorized into four groups based on self-reported binge drinking and smoking (binge drinker/nonsmoker, smoker/non-binge drinker, binge drinker/smoker, or non-binge drinker/nonsmoker) and were assessed on a number of variables, including self-monitoring, depressive symptoms, coping style, religiosity/spirituality, popularity, dieting behavior, and smoking- and alcohol-related expectations. Univariate and multiple regression analyses were conducted to identify characteristics that best describe each of these types of substance users.


Risk profiles varied across the groups. Girls and young women who binge drank but did not smoke were more likely to be high self-monitors, to engage in disordered dieting, and to believe drinking provided an excuse to act with less inhibition. Those who smoked but did not binge drink were more likely to report depressive symptoms. Those who binge drank and smoked were more likely to be popular and to report depressive symptoms. Certain forms of avoidant coping and low religiosity were associated with all three types of substance use.


Understanding the risk profiles of girls and young women who engage in specific forms of substance use can facilitate the identification of those at risk and the development of more targeted and effective prevention programs and interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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