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Pathways Through Adolescent Smoking: A 7-Year Longitudinal Grouping Analysis

By Stephen Soldz and Xingjia Cui


This study examined longitudinal patterns of smoking among students (N � 852) followed from 6th through 12th grades using longitudinal grouping analysis. Six patterns (clusters) were identified: nonsmokers, quitters, experimenters, early escalators, late escalators, and continuous smokers. Baseline (6th-grade) differences in associated risk factors were examined. Growth curve modeling revealed meaningful intercluster differences in risk factor trends over the study period. In general, nonsmokers had the fewest baseline risk factors and slowest increase in risk factors, whereas continuous smokers had higher baseline and more rapidly increasing trends in risk factors. Results suggest that some clusters may respond to population-based antismoking interventions, whereas others (early escalators and continuous smokers) will probably require more focused interventions. Key words: adolescents, youth, smoking, longitudinal, cluster analysis, growth curve Attempts to reduce adult smoking rates over the past few decades have experienced some success (Garfinkel, 1997; Gilpin

Year: 2013
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