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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Effects of family functioning and self-image on adolescent smoking initiation among Asian-American subgroups.

  • Author(s): Weiss, Jie W
  • Garbanati, James A
  • Tanjasiri, Sora P
  • Xie, Bin
  • Palmer, Paula H
  • et al.

PURPOSE: This study examined differences in smoking prevalence and differences in associations between family functioning, self-image and adolescent smoking behavior among four Asian-American subgroups. METHODS: Statistical analyses were conducted on responses about their smoking behaviors from 1139 students who self-identified as Chinese-Americans, Filipino-Americans, Korean-Americans, and Vietnamese-Americans. RESULTS: Significant differences in the prevalence of ever-tried smoking and 30-day smoking were found across subgroups, but there were no overall gender differences. Korean-American adolescents reported the highest lifetime smoking and 30-day smoking rates, followed by Vietnamese- and Filipino-Americans. Chinese-Americans reported the lowest smoking rates. There were also differences in the associations between smoking and family functioning and self-image across the four subgroups. High family functioning was inversely associated with smoking for Chinese- and Korean-American adolescents, but not for Filipino- and Vietnamese-Americans. On the other hand, high self-image was associated with decreased risk of smoking for Filipino- and Vietnamese-Americans, but not for the other two subgroups. CONCLUSION: Findings of this study demonstrate that family functioning and self-image varied across Asian-American subgroups. This suggests the need to understand etiological differences between the groups as well as potential implications for prevention cessation programs.

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