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1.  Multiple Peer Group Self-Identification and Adolescent Tobacco Use 
Substance use & misuse  2012;47(6):757-766.
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.
PMCID: PMC4201855  PMID: 22458850
tobacco use; adolescent; peer group; ethnicity; prevention
2.  Association of the Calcyon Neuron-Specific Vesicular Protein Gene (CALY) With Adolescent Smoking Initiation in China and California 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2011;173(9):1039-1048.
Although previous investigations have indicated a role for genetic factors in smoking initiation, the underlying genetic mechanisms are still unknown. In 2,339 adolescents from a Chinese Han population in the Wuhan Smoking Prevention Trial (Wuhan, China, 1998–1999), the authors explored the association of 57 genes in the dopamine pathway with smoking initiation. Using a conservative approach for declaring significance, positive findings were further examined in an independent sample of 603 Caucasian adolescents followed for up to 10 years as part of the Children's Health Study (Southern California, 1993–2009). The authors identified 1 single nucleotide polymorphism (rs2298122) in the calcyon neuron-specific vesicular protein gene (CALY) that was positively associated with smoking initiation in females (odds ratio = 2.21, 95% confidence interval: 1.49, 3.27; P = 8.4 × 10−5) in the Wuhan Smoking Prevention Trial cohort, and they replicated the association in females from the Children's Health Study cohort (hazard rate ratio = 2.05, 95% confidence interval: 1.27, 3.31; P = 0.003). These results suggest that the CALY gene may influence smoking initiation in adolescents, although the potential roles of underlying psychological characteristics that may be components of the smoking-initiation phenotype, such as impulsivity or novelty-seeking, remain to be explored.
PMCID: PMC3121219  PMID: 21415033
adolescent; dopamine; genetic association studies; smoking
3.  Longitudinal Analysis of Weight Perception and Psychological Factors in Chinese Adolescents 
To investigate associations of overweight status and perception with trajectories of psychological distress in adolescents.
Longitudinal data for 6,970 Chinese adolescents were included. The multivariate Curve-of-Factor Latent Growth Curve Models were adopted to examine trajectories of psychological distress symptoms and associations with overweight status and perception.
After controlling for actual overweight status, psychological distress symptoms were weakly but significantly associated with overweight perception (γ=0.08 for boys and γ=0.10 for girls, P<0.05) and misperception (γ=0.06 for boys and γ=0.09 for girls, P<0.05).
Our findings help understanding associations of overweight perception and psychological well being of adolescents.
PMCID: PMC2957668  PMID: 20950162
weight perception; Chinese adolescents; psychological distress
4.  Overweight, Body Image, and Depression in Asian and Hispanic Adolescents 
To prospectively investigate associations between overweight and depressive symptoms in Asian and Hispanic adolescents.
Data included 780 Hispanic and 375 Asian students. Structural equation model was used to prospectively explore moderation effects of gender, ethnicity, and acculturation on associations of overweight, body image dissatisfaction, and depressive symptoms.
Significant mediation effect was found only in Asian girls (mediation effect=0.16, P<0.05) and girls with high acculturation (mediation effect=0.17, P<0.05). Overweight significantly predicted higher body image dissatisfaction, which in turn was significantly related to depressive symptoms.
Our findings help understanding the association of overweight and experience of depressive symptoms.
PMCID: PMC2860429  PMID: 20218759
overweight; depressive symptoms; body image; acculturation
5.  Affective decision-making deficits, linked to a dysfunctional ventromedial prefrontal cortex, revealed in 10th-grade Chinese adolescent smokers 
This study addressed the question of whether poor decision making would be associated with adolescent past 7-day smoking. We conducted a cross-sectional study of 208 10th-grade adolescents in Chengdu City, China. We used the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) to assess decision-making, and the Self-ordered Pointing Task (SOPT) to assess working memory capacity. Paper and pencil questionnaires assessed the school academic performance (SAP) and smoking variables. The results showed that a significantly higher proportion of past 7-day smokers (91.7%) were susceptible to future smoking and cigarette offers from best friends compared to other levels of smokers (never, ever and past 30-day smokers). Consistent with these behavioral data, the neuropsychological assessments revealed that relative to never smokers, past 7-day adolescent smokers (but not ever smokers or past 30-day smokers) demonstrated significantly lower scores on the IGT. Moreover, a higher proportion of past 7-day smokers (91.7%) performed poorly (no more than an overall net score of 10) on the IGT than nonsmokers and irregular (ever or past 30-day) smokers (about 65.3%). There were no differences on working memory performance for smokers (at any level) compared to never smokers after adjusting for school-type. In addition, logistic regression showed that the IGT significantly predicted past 7-day smoking after controlling for the working memory, school academic performance and demographic variables. These results suggest that poor affective decision making might predispose some adolescents to smoking in the future or in the social situations where their peers are smoking. Intervention targeting affective decision making might hold promise for reducing adolescents’ risks for substance use.
PMCID: PMC2621100  PMID: 18584472

Results 1-5 (5)