Freshmen college students with and without asthma: predictors of changes in smoking during the first semester
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Prior research has found that young adults with asthma are equally as likely or more likely to smoke cigarettes than their peers who do not have asthma, despite the potential negative impact on their lung condition. The transition to college may represent a period of unique risk in this regard for teens with asthma, as greater freedom may increase risky health behaviors, as well. The present study explored this issue with first-semester freshmen college students, and it was conducted in two stages with participants from an Introduction to Psychology subject pool. First, subject pool participants (n = 1697) completed an on-line screening survey, and they were included in analyses comparing smoking in those with and without asthma. Then, 250 participants (122 with asthma, 128 without) were assessed at three additional time-points throughout the semester. This set of students completed a larger battery of measures which permitted a more in-depth analysis of changes in smoking behavior and associated risk factors, which included sensitivity to reward and punishment, symptoms of depression, and expectancies of consequences from smoking. Results from the larger subject pool suggested that smokers with asthma have increased tobacco consumption rates, a difference which could not be accounted for by having a parent who had smoked. Analyses with the longitudinal subset of participants suggested that smokers with asthma were more likely to have initiated cigarette use during the first semester of college. However, risk factors generally did not predict differences in baseline smoking or changes in smoking for the students with and without asthma. Results are discussed in terms of the implications for smoking prevention and cessation campaigns for those with asthma.
Access is limited to the campus of the University of Missouri--Columbia.