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School Smoking Policy Characteristics and Individual Perceptions of the School Tobacco Context: Are They Linked to Students’ Smoking Status?

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      Abstract

      The purpose of this study was to explore individual- and school-level policy characteristics on student smoking behavior using an ecological perspective. Participants were 24,213 (51% female) Grade 10–11 students from 81 schools in five Canadian provinces. Data were collected using student self-report surveys, written policies collected from schools, interviews with school administrators, and school property observations to assess multiple dimensions of the school tobacco policy. The multi-level modeling results revealed that the school a student attended was associated with his/her smoking behavior. Individual-level variables that were associated with student smoking included lower school connectedness, a greater number of family and friends who smoked, higher perceptions of student smoking prevalence, lower perceptions of student smoking frequency, and stronger perceptions of the school tobacco context. School-level variables associated with student smoking included weaker policy intention indicating prohibition and assistance to overcome tobacco addiction, weaker policy implementation involving strategies for enforcement, and a higher number of students smoking on school property. These findings suggest that the school environment is important to tobacco control strategies, and that various policy dimensions have unique relationships to student smoking. School tobacco policies should be part of a comprehensive approach to adolescent tobacco use.

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      Most cited references 66

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      Peers and adolescent smoking.

       K Kobus (2003)
      There is a considerable body of empirical research that has identified adolescent peer relationships as a primary factor involved in adolescent cigarette smoking. Despite this large research base, many questions remain unanswered about the mechanisms by which peers affect youths' smoking behavior. Understanding these processes of influence is key to the development of prevention and intervention programs designed to address adolescent smoking as a significant public health concern. In this paper, theoretical frameworks and empirical findings are reviewed critically which inform the current state of knowledge regarding peer influences on teenage smoking. Specifically, social learning theory, primary socialization theory, social identity theory and social network theory are discussed. Empirical findings regarding peer influence and selection, as well as multiple reference points in adolescent friendships, including best friendships, romantic relationships, peer groups and social crowds, are also reviewed. Review of this work reveals the contribution that peers have in adolescents' use of tobacco, in some cases promoting use, and in other cases deterring it. This review also suggests that peer influences on smoking are more subtle than commonly thought and need to be examined more carefully, including consideration of larger social contexts, e.g. the family, neighborhood, and media. Recommendations for future investigations are made, as well as suggestions for specific methodological approaches that offer promise for advancing our knowledge of the contribution of peers on adolescent tobacco use.
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        Close friend and group influence on adolescent cigarette smoking and alcohol use.

        The relative influence of adolescents closest friends and their friendship group on their cigarette smoking and alcohol use was investigated in a short-term, longitudinal study of 1,028 students in the 6th, 8th, and 10th grades in 2 school systems. The amount of influence over the school year was modest in magnitude and came from the closest friend for initiation of cigarette and alcohol use. Only the friendship group use predicted transition into current cigarette use, whereas only the close friend use predicted transition into current alcohol use. Both group and close friends independently contributed to the prediction of adolescents' drinking to intoxication. No difference in the amount of influence, was found between stable and unstable close friendships or friendship groups; neither grade nor gender of the adolescents related to the amount of influence.
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          Social and school connectedness in early secondary school as predictors of late teenage substance use, mental health, and academic outcomes.

          To examine associations between social relationships and school engagement in early secondary school and mental health, substance use, and educational achievement 2-4 years later. School-based longitudinal study of secondary school students, surveyed at school in Year 8 (13-14-years-old) and Year 10 (16-years-old), and 1-year post-secondary school. A total of 2678 Year 8 students (74%) participated in the first wave of data collection. For the school-based surveys, attrition was <10%. Seventy-one percent of the participating Year 8 students completed the post-secondary school survey. Having both good school and social connectedness in Year 8 was associated with the best outcomes in later years. In contrast, participants with low school connectedness but good social connectedness were at elevated risk of anxiety/depressive symptoms (odds ratio [OR]: 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.0, 1.76), regular smoking (OR: 2.0; 95% CI: 1.4, 2.9), drinking (OR: 1.7; 95% CI: 1.3, 2.2), and using marijuana (OR: 2.0; 95% CI: 1.6, 2.5) in later years. The likelihood of completing school was reduced for those with either poor social connectedness, low school connectedness, or both. Overall, young people's experiences of early secondary school and their relationships with others may continue to affect their moods, their substance use in later years, and their likelihood of completing secondary school. Having both good school connectedness and good social connectedness is associated with the best outcomes. The challenge is how to promote both school and social connectedness to best achieve these health and learning outcomes.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1]Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, McGill University, Montreal, QC Canada
            [2]School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC Canada
            [3]Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON Canada
            [4]School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC Canada
            [5]School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB Canada
            Contributors
            chris.lovato@ubc.ca,
            Journal
            J Youth Adolesc
            Journal of Youth and Adolescence
            Springer US (Boston)
            0047-2891
            1573-6601
            7 June 2009
            November 2009
            : 38
            : 10
            : 1374-1387
            2758151
            19779813
            9422
            10.1007/s10964-009-9422-z
            © The Author(s) 2009
            Categories
            Empirical Research
            Custom metadata
            © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

            Health & Social care

            smoking, adolescents, tobacco use, school environment, school policies

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