Adolescent tobacco use: Studies of prevalence, factorial validity, and factorial invariance between African Americans and Whites
In the last thirty years, increasing efforts have been made to reduce the prevalence of adolescent tobacco use in the United States. Although the prevalence has declined dramatically over the past decade, there are still sharp differences in adolescent smoking-initiation rates across racial/ethnic groups. Large-scale surveys frequently assess smoking-related attitudes, self-efficacy, and intentions to explain the differences in smoking rates between African Americans and Whites. However, there is little agreement about which constructs are significant. Moreover, the psychometric properties of smoking-related attitude, self-efficacy, and intention constructs have not been fully examined. More studies are needed to understand existing patterns of tobacco use and to validate and fully exploit the constructs' relationship to adolescent smoking initiation across racial/ethnic groups. This dissertation reports on a secondary analysis of data from a large multi-ethnic convenience sample of sixth- through eighth-grade students in 22 schools in East Texas and the city of Houston. The specific aims of this dissertation were to (1) describe smoking and alternate tobacco product use rates by race/ethnicity, gender, age, and grade level (Article 1); (2) test the factorial validity of smoking-related attitudes, self-efficacy, and intentions using confirmatory factor analysis techniques (Article 2); and (3) test the factorial invariance of smoking-related attitudes, self-efficacy, and intentions between African Americans and Whites (Article 3). The prevalence findings confirm the disparities in tobacco use among African American, Hispanic, and White adolescents that other surveys have reported (Article 1). This study also demonstrates the usefulness of examining use patterns of not only cigarettes but also alternative tobacco products in younger multiethnic populations, as well as of providing epidemiological data estimates about different phases of smoking. The confirmatory factor analysis provides evidence of construct validity of attitude, self-efficacy, and intention scales for the multiethnic sample (Article 2). Finally, the factorial invariance analyses indicates that some measures representing smoking-related attitudes, self-efficacy, and intentions may not be appropriate for use among both African Americans and Whites (Article 3). Additional research is needed to further our understanding of the patterns and predictors of youth tobacco use initiation.
Ford, Kentya H, "Adolescent tobacco use: Studies of prevalence, factorial validity, and factorial invariance between African Americans and Whites" (2005). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3178686.