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1.  Smoking initiation among Mexican heritage youth and the roles of family cohesion and conflict 
Purpose
High levels of family conflict increase the risk for early smoking initiation and smoking escalation among adolescents, while high levels of warmth and cohesion in the family are protective against smoking initiation. However, little is known about the associations between changes in family function during adolescence on subsequent smoking initiation among Mexican heritage adolescents.
Methods
In 2005-06, 1,328 Mexican heritage adolescents aged 11 to 14 years enrolled in a cohort study to examine non-genetic and genetic factors associated with cigarette experimentation. In 2008-09, 1,154 participants completed a follow-up. Multivariate logistic regression models were computed to prospectively examine associations between smoking behavior assessed in 2008-09 and changes in family cohesion and family conflict assessed in both 2005-06 and 2008-09, controlling for gender, age, and linguistic acculturation, positive outcome expectations associated with smoking, as well as friends and family smoking behavior.
Results
Overall 21% had tried cigarettes by 2008-09. Consistently low levels of family cohesion (OR=3.06; 95% CI: 1.38-6.73) and decreases in family cohesion (OR=2.36; 95% CI: 1.37-4.07), as well as consistently high levels of family conflict (OR=1.74; 95% CI: 1.08-2.79) and increases in conflict (OR=1.87; 95% CI: 1.19-2.94) were independent risk factors for smoking initiation among Mexican heritage youth.
Conclusions
Our findings suggest that family cohesion protects against adolescent smoking while family conflict increases the risk for smoking. Therefore intervention programs for adolescents and parents could focus on enhancing family bonding and closeness, which is protective against smoking initiation.
doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2015.01.021
PMCID: PMC4605269  PMID: 25911161
Family cohesion and conflict; Smoking; Adolescents; Mexican heritage
2.  The Associations of Body Image, Anxiety and Smoking among Mexican Origin Youth 
Purpose
Among Mexican origin teenagers, anxiety is associated with cigarette experimentation, while among girls and young women from other ethnic groups the desire to be thin is associated with smoking. However, little is known about the associations of body image concerns with smoking in Mexican origin youth, particularly when accounting for anxiety.
Methods
In 2005-06, 1,328 Mexican origin adolescents aged 11 to 13 years enrolled in a cohort study to examine non-genetic and genetic factors associated with cigarette experimentation. In 2008-09, 1,154 participants completed a follow-up when they reported their smoking status, anxiety and body image. Height and weight were measured. In 2010-11, 1,001 participants completed another follow-up when they reported their smoking status. Multivariate multinomial regression models were computed to examine associations between smoking behavior assessed in 2010-11 and body image score, anxiety, and body mass index (BMI) assessed in 2008-09, controlling for gender, country of birth, age, and parental education.
Results
Of the 892 participants with complete data, 48% were boys, 74% were US-born and in 2008-09, were 14.29 years (SD=1.00) old. Having smoked less than a whole cigarette was associated with being male (OR=1.53), older age (OR=1.42), a BMI <85th percentile (OR=1.93) and poor body image (OR=1.12). Having smoked more than one cigarette was associated with being male (OR=3.54), older age (OR=1.86), anxiety (OR=1.04), and poor body image (OR=1.11).
Conclusions
Poor body image and anxiety were independently associated with cigarette experimentation among Mexican origin youth. Implications for the design of culturally appropriate smoking prevention messages are discussed.
doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.03.011
PMCID: PMC4441269  PMID: 23669646
Body image; Anxiety; Smoking; Adolescents; Mexican origin youth
3.  Sensation seeking, risk behaviors and alcohol consumption among Mexican origin youth 
Purpose
To examine factors associated with ever use of alcohol among Mexican origin youth.
Methods
Using a prospective study design, we followed 1053 Mexican origin adolescents. Participants completed two surveys in their homes and three follow-up telephone interviews, every six to eight months, in between. The second home survey was completed 30 months (SD=4.8 months) after baseline. Acculturation, subjective social status, and family cohesion were assessed at baseline and final home visit. Ever drinking, risk behaviors, and sensation seeking tendencies were assessed at the final home visit only.
Results
Overall, 30% of the study participants reported ever drinking alcohol. Multivariate models revealed that being female, increasing age, lower levels of acculturation, family cohesion and subjective social status, higher sensation seeking tendencies and concomitantly engaging in three or four other risk behaviors were associated with ever drinking. Also, social disinhibition, an aspect of sensation seeking, mediated the relationship between engaging in other risk behaviors and alcohol use. This is consistent with previous research, suggesting that social disinhibition is a common factor that underlies the use of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and other problem behaviors.
Conclusions
The results of this study support taking a family-based approach to prevention that includes discussion of other risk behaviors, especially smoking, among Mexican origin youth. In addition, tailoring programs by gender, directly addressing both how changes in social norms resulting from acculturation can impact a youth’s decision to drink alcohol and underlying gender-based differences in why youth drink could improve the efficacy of preventive interventions.
doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2010.05.002
PMCID: PMC3148938  PMID: 21185526
4.  The influence of subjective social status on the relationship between positive outcome expectations and experimentation with cigarettes 
Purpose
In Texas, Mexican American (MA) adolescents, and in particular boys, are at increased risk of experimenting with cigarettes compared to their black or white counterparts. Positive outcome expectations (POE), the functional social significance ascribed to cigarettes, and subjective social status (SSS), the adolescents’ subjective views of where they lie in the school-based social hierarchy, are independent predictors of smoking. The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that SSS moderates the relationship between POE and experimentation with cigarettes.
Methods
Moderating effects of SSS were examined using a between-subjects 2 by 2 ANOVA and unconditional logistic regression analyses. Using a prospective study design, we followed 1,142 MA adolescents aged 11 to 13. Participants completed a baseline survey at home, which assessed POE, SSS, and smoking and were followed via telephone at 6 monthly intervals over a 12 month period to assess changes in smoking behavior.
Results
At follow-up, there were 99 new experimenters. Consistent with our hypothesis, adolescents who reported moderate-low SSS and who held POE at baseline were more likely to have experimented with cigarettes at either follow-up than their peers with moderate-low SSS who held less POE (OR=1.92, CI: 1.02–3.58). There was no association between outcome expectations and experimenting among adolescents with high SSS (OR=1.79, CI: 0.73–4.36). Low SSS boys were more likely to experiment than girls and high SSS boys.
Conclusions
The results of this study indicate that adolescents with moderate-low SSS hold different outcome expectations about smoking than their higher SSS peers. The results underscore the possibility that moderate-low SSS adolescents view behaviors such as smoking as a way to achieve higher SSS and thereby increase their peer social standing. Our results suggest that, in addition to tailoring intervention efforts by gender, placing adolescents of similar social standing to one another within the school into intervention groups that are led by a peer-nominated peer may increase the overall effectiveness of these peer-led prevention efforts.
doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2008.08.003
PMCID: PMC2705959  PMID: 19306792

Results 1-4 (4)