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Peer pressure can be attributed to increased number of teenage smoking

Effects of Peer Pressure on Tobacco Products

Received 2017 Feb 27; Accepted 2017 Nov 27. Abstract Previous research on adolescent cigarette adoption has focused on peer influence and the perceived status gain from smoking but has ignored the status effects on peer influence. We analyze adolescent peer effects on cigarette consumption while considering the popularity of peers.

The analysis is based on a four wave panel survey representative of American high school students. These effects persist seven and fourteen years later wave 3 and 4 of the data. The results indicate the importance of knowing not only the smoking propensity within a school but also the location of smokers within the social hierarchy.

Peer effects on adolescent smoking: Are popular teens more influential?

Introduction Identifying the drivers of smoking adoption among youth remains a public health priority. Initiating smoking at a young age is correlated with smoking more cigarettes per day and with a lower probability of quitting later in life [ 12 ].

More than 480,000 deaths are attributed to cigarette smoking every year in the US alone. At the current rate of adoption, 5. Previous research points to peer influence as an important cause of adolescent smoking [ 3 — 9 ].

Adolescents are especially vulnerable to social influence as they try to fit in with their peers [ 1011 ].

Peer pressure biggest influence on teen smokers: study

Numerous studies suggest that some smokers believe that smoking promotes social status [ 12 — 15 ], and yet previous research has failed to test a key implication: In other contexts, peer influence has been found to increase with their social status [ 16 ], but no previous studies have empirically tested the effects of the social status of adolescent smokers on the spread of smoking through peer networks.

The need to empirically test this status-belief explanation is the starting point for our study. Previous research on popularity and smoking Several studies have analyzed the link between popularity of adolescents usually measured by the number of incoming friendship nominations and their smoking behavior.

For example, Valente et al. Michell and Amos [ 15 ] used qualitative data from Scottish schoolgirls and found that popular girls smoke to maintain their image while some unpopular girls smoke with the hope of gaining social status, but no effect in the mid-popularity range.

These studies indicate that smoking may be used as a strategy to climb the social ladder, based on the belief that smoking will lead to an increase in social status.

  • Social environmental and individual factors associated with smoking among a panel of adolescent girls;
  • American Journal of Public Health 2008;98:

To address this gap, we reverse the causal arrow: We posit that the relative popularity of smokers and non-smokers will condition whether smoking will be associated with social status in that population. It is worth noting that there have been anti-smoking field interventions that relied implicitly on the hypothesis that we are testing.

In short, this research assumed status differences in influence but did not test that assumption. Our study is motivated by the need to empirically test an assumption that informs intervention strategies not only into smoking but into other public health, advertising, and electoral campaigns.

  1. Why children start smoking cigarettes. In a major review of the literature, the US Surgeon General's report for 2001 Women and Smoking concluded that 'Most risk factors for smoking initiation appear to be similar among girls and boys' p477.
  2. Association of parent and best friend smoking with stage of adolescent tobacco smoking.
  3. Social environmental and individual factors associated with smoking among a panel of adolescent girls.

The reflection problem Like most previous studies of peer influence on adolescent smoking, we rely on observational data. Seminal work by Manski [ 18 ] identifies the inherent difficulty in estimating peer effects with observational data, which he refers to as the reflection problem.

The challenge with observational data is how to disentangle endogenous effects from contextual and correlated effects. Several identification approaches have been used.

  • Body weight and smoking initiation;
  • Youth tobacco prevention research project.

To account for contextual cofounds, Gaviria and Raphael [ 5 ], and Powell et al. All these studies found strong evidence of peer influence on cigarettes use.

In line with previous studies, we use the lagged behavior of peers at the school grade level to control for homophily and include school fixed effects to control for contextual confounds. Nevertheless, the observed effects from multivariate models remain susceptible to unobserved heterogeneity. We therefore also use instrumental variables to test the robustness of the causal inferences.

Data and methods The present study is based on data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health AddHealtha four-wave panel 1995, 1996, 2002 and 2009 administered to a representative sample of American High Schools.

  • Preventing tobacco use among young people;
  • In short, this research assumed status differences in influence but did not test that assumption;
  • Body weight and smoking initiation;
  • Cigarette smoking in teenage girls:

This data set contains detailed information about substance use as well as rich social network data with which to measure the popularity of students.

The In-School survey conducted in 1995 covered 90,118 adolescents in 144 schools. Finally, about 15,000 students were surveyed again in 1996 In-Home survey wave 2as well as 2002 In-Home wave 3 and 2009 In-Home wave 4; see Fig 1.

  1. Tobacco Control 1999;7 4. Try and try again.
  2. Tobacco control for clinicians who treat adolescents.
  3. All these studies found strong evidence of peer influence on cigarettes use. Nevertheless, the observed effects from multivariate models remain susceptible to unobserved heterogeneity.
  4. Can young adult smoking status be predicted from concern about body weight and self-reported BMI among adolescents? Previous research on popularity and smoking Several studies have analyzed the link between popularity of adolescents usually measured by the number of incoming friendship nominations and their smoking behavior.
  5. The review also highlighted the variation of peer influence on adolescent smoking by socio-demographic characteristics, including gender differences said to be well established, with girls more strongly influenced by peer smoking than boys; see Section 5.

After excluding individuals with missing information and schools with insufficient social network data, we have a sample of about 66,000 peers and a core sample of about 7,500 individuals.