Smoking Experimentation, Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity, and associated Psychosocial and Demographic Correlates among Mexican Origin Youth
AbstractModerate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) may deter adolescents from smoking initiation; such an approach requires knowledge of psychosocial risk and protective factors associated with both physical activity and smoking experimentation. This paper examines such psychosocial factors across four groups of adolescents identified by crossing smoking experimentation (yes/no) with completes adequate MVPA (yes/no). In 2008-09, 1,098 Mexican origin youth (50.4% girls, mean age 14.3 years (SD=1.04)) provided data on smoking behavior, physical activity, alcohol use, acculturation, peer and parental smoking, BMI, body image, smoking outcome expectations, anxiety, subjective social status (SSS), body image and sensation-seeking tendencies. We conducted Pearson’s 2 tests to examine associations between a) MVPA and smoking and b) demographic variables and the four groups identified by crossing smoking experimentation with MVPA. Next, adjusting for age and gender, we completed analysis of covariance to examine differences in psychosocial factors across the four groups. In our sample, 22.4% had experimented with cigarettes, and 29.3% completed adequate MVPA. Both behaviors were more prevalent among boys. Although not statistically significantly higher, 32.9% of experimenters completed adequate MVPA compared to 28.3% among non-experimenters. Experimenters who complete adequate MVPA reported the highest levels of thrill and adventure seeking, while those who complete inadequate MVPA reported lower SSS and more body image concerns than non-experimenters (p<0.05 for all). Our findings highlight an opportunity to address MVPA as an alternative to smoking among Mexican origin youth with high thrill and adventure sensation seeking tendencies, 82% of whom have experimented and 69% of who complete MVPA.
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