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Int J Ment Health. 2011 Spring;40(1):7-21.

Adolescent Academic Adjustment Factors and the Trajectories of Cigarette Smoking from Adolescence to the Mid-thirties.


Knowledge of early predictors which differentiate between various longitudinal smoking patterns might facilitate designing more effective interventions. Using data from 806 participants, we examined the association of three adolescent academic adjustment factors, Educational Aspirations and Expectations; Perception of School Achievement; and Trouble at School, to five trajectories of cigarette use covering 23 years from adolescence to adulthood. The five trajectory groups were: heavy/continuous smokers, late starters, quitter/decreasers, occasional smokers, and nonsmokers. Each academic factor predicted smoking trajectory group membership. Each academic factor was significantly associated with being a heavy/continuous smoker rather than a member of other trajectory groups. Behavioral academic factors also differentiated quitter/decreasers from late starters, occasional smokers, and nonsmokers. Adolescents manifesting academic maladjustment risk becoming early, chronic smokers. Prevention and intervention efforts targeting educational maladjustment may decrease cigarette smoking.

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