Type of Document Thesis Author Moldovan, Mihaela Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-11092006-233945 Title Communication, Demographic, Social and Behavioral Factors Predicting Smokeless Tobacco Use among Florida Adolescents Degree Master of Arts Department Communication, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Gary R. Heald Committee Chair Jay D. Rayburn Committee Member Steven McClung Committee Member Keywords
- Smokeless Tobacco
Date of Defense 2006-11-06 Availability unrestricted AbstractABSTRACT
This study identifies communication, demographic, social and behavioral factors that predict smokeless tobacco use among Florida adolescents.
The study merged multiple Florida Anti-Tobacco Media Evaluation (FAME) data sets from May 2000, October 2000 and May 2001, focusing on adolescents (ages 12-17). The data contained measures of smokeless tobacco use, prevalence of smoking and other substance use and a series of predictor factors that included demographic characteristics, social environment, risk-taking behaviors and receptivity to anti and pro-tobacco promotions. Nonparametric Chi-square analyses were used to test relationships identified in six research questions. The analyses featured a subsample of high school age males and comparisons between a subgroup of male nonathletes versus male athletes.
Across these six research questions there are five patterns that are especially notable. Race, grade in school, job status and anti-tobacco promotions predicted smokeless tobacco use among both the male adolescents and the nonathlete/athlete subsamples. In predicting receptivity to anti-tobacco promotions, only grade was an important predictor among both the total male subsample and the male nonathletes versus male athletes subgroups. Smokeless tobacco use was related to alcohol consumption, cheating in school, and lying to parents among both the male adolescents, and the subsample of male nonathletes versus athletes.
Two of the key patterns were found only for the total male subsample. Male adolescents who used smokeless were also more likely to use other high-risk products, including cigarettes and cigars. Finally, among the total male subgroup, siblings and best friendsí use of tobacco were positively associated with adolescent smokeless tobacco use.
Overall, the findings from this study support the traditional views that older male adolescents are more likely to use smokeless tobacco products. Male athletes, when compared to male nonathletes, were more likely to use smokeless tobacco. Across the 29 variables that have been previously related directly or conditionally to tobacco use, in 25 analyses, the variables were also related to smokeless tobacco use for the total male subsample. Considering these 25 analyses, however, in only eight (8) instances were there differences in the responses given by male nonathletes versus male athletes.
These analyses provide a deeper understanding of the factors that predict smokeless tobacco usage among adolescents. These findings should help communication and health professionals design and target messages aimed at preventing high school males from using smokeless tobacco.
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