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Subst Use Misuse. 2012 May;47(6):757-66. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2011.608959. Epub 2012 Mar 29.

Multiple peer group self-identification and adolescent tobacco use.

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Department of Psychology & Sociology, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, Pomona, California 91768, USA.


Associations between peer group self-identification and smoking were examined among 2,698 ethnically diverse middle school students in Los Angeles who self-identified with groups such as Rockers, Skaters, and Gamers. The sample was 47.1% male, 54.7% Latino, 25.4% Asian, 10.8% White, 9.1% Other ethnicity, and 59.3% children of immigrant parents. Multiple group self-identification was common: 84% identified with two or more groups and 65% identified with three or more groups. Logistic regression analyses indicated that as students endorsed more high-risk groups, the greater their risk of tobacco use. A classification tree analysis identified risk groups based on interactions among ethnicity, gender, and group self-identification. Psychographic targeting based on group self-identification could be useful to design more relevant smoking prevention messages for adolescents who identify with high-risk peer groups.

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