Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Youth tobacco smoking is one of the major public health problems of this society. Although, by some reports, adult cigarette smoking has been declining, teen smoking rates continue to remain unacceptably high. Current data indicates that smoking rates among minority youth which had declined in the past few years are beginning to rise again. The current increase in teen smoking and subsequent health dangers associated with smoking demonstrates a need for more effective, empirically based youth smoking prevention strategies. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of a substance abuse prevention program in reducing smoking among sixth grade African American students in Louisiana. The literature identifies several demographic and psychological variables that can influence smoking rates. These variables include anti-smoking attitudes, normative beliefs about smoking, decision-making ability, smoking refusal ability, general assertiveness ability, and selected demographic characteristics. This study also examined these variables to determine their significance in preventing smoking among African American youth. The study utilized a quasi-experimental non-equivalent control group design. Data was collected from 68 sixth grade African American students enrolled in one middle school located in South Central Louisiana. Results of the study indicate that sixth grade African American students: (a) report “low intentions” to smoke cigarettes; (b) exhibit lower levels of smoking behavior if they live in two-parent homes; and (c) have misconceptions about smoking in which they tend to overestimate the smoking rates of their peers and adults. The findings also indicate that sixth grade African American students who have higher academic performance are less likely to smoke cigarettes. Finally, the study found that sixth grade African American students who have higher levels of decision-making ability, smoking refusal ability, and anti-smoking attitudes have lower extent of smoking behavior and lower intentions to smoke cigarettes.
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Nichols, Alan J., "The influence of a school-based substance abuse prevention program in reducing smoking among sixth grade African American students in Louisiana" (2006). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 3346.