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Am J Addict. 2006 Nov-Dec;15(6):426-33.

Personality risk factors associated with trajectories of tobacco use.

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Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York 10016, USA.


The purpose of this longitudinal, prospective study was to evaluate trajectories of smoking in a cohort of African-American and Puerto Rican young adults and describe personality and behavioral factors associated with specific smoking trajectory group membership. Participants consisted of African-American and Puerto Rican male and female young adults (N = 451, mean age 26) from an inner-city community. Data were collected at four time points over a period of 13 years using structured interviews. Interviews took place within the schools and the participants' homes. Scales with adequate psychometric properties were adapted from previously validated measures. Variables that were examined for this study came from the domains of internalizing behaviors, externalizing behaviors, drug use, and demographic information. Data were analyzed using latent growth mixture modeling to explore discrete smoking trajectories. Logistic regression analyses were then used to examine the risk factors associated with the various smoking trajectory groups. Four trajectory groups were determined to best fit the data: nonsmokers, maturing-out smokers, late-starting smokers, and early-starting continuous smokers. Subjects who were unconventional, experienced intrapersonal distress, and used alcohol and illegal drugs were more likely to belong to one of the smoking trajectory groups than to the nonsmoking group. The early-starting continuous group scored highest on these personal risk attributes. The long-term impact of unconventional behavior, intrapersonal distress, and drug use on developmental trajectories of smoking support the importance of early intervention and prevention.

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