Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Association of Tobacco Use with Acculturative Status, Knowledge, and Attitudes among Early Adolescent Mexican Americans

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Association of Tobacco Use with Acculturative Status, Knowledge, and Attitudes among Early Adolescent Mexican Americans

Article excerpt

Bobby Guinn, Tom Semper, Vern Vincent, and Layne Jorgensen, University of Texas-Pan American.

Considerable evidence suggests adolescence is the critical life stage for tobacco use prevention as this is when initiation, regular use, and dependence begins. The National Coalition of Hispanic Health and Human Services reports tobacco to be the most abused substance by Hispanic youths with dramatic smoking rate increases reported the past ten years. Mexican Americans constitute the largest and fastest growing subgroup of the Hispanic community, yet little data exists concerning those factors that could be predisposing greater tobacco use in this ethnic group. While tobacco knowledge and attitudes investigations among youth are numerous, most have focused on majority populations. Furthermore, the role of acculturation, changes in one's norms, values, thinking patterns, and self-identification resulting from exposure to the mainstream culture, has received little attention among early adolescent minority youth. There-fore, the purpose of this study was to examine, among early adolescent Mexican Americans, the relationship of tobacco knowledge and attitudes and degree of acculturation with tobacco use. Participants, drawn from four elementary schools located in the Lower Rio Grande Valley region of Texas, were obtained by randomly splitting an original data set (N= 440; M age = 10. …

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