Tobacco Use Trajectories among American Indian Adolescents and Young Adults


Cole, Ashley & Clawson, A. (2019). Tobacco Use Trajectories among American Indian Adolescents and Young Adults.


Despite overall decreases in U.S. smoking rates over the past 50 years, American Indians (AIs) exhibit some of the highest smoking rates of all ethnic/racial groups. After examining tobacco use by age, 18.7% of AI high school students currently smoke, which is the highest smoking prevalence rate among high school students across ethnicity/race. Quit rates are lower in this population compared to other ethnic/racial groups, which may be due to earlier smoking initiation among AI youth. Explanations for earlier smoking initiation among AI youth include parental tobacco use (i.e., intergenerational transmission of tobacco use) and personal mental health symptoms. The present study aims to examine tobacco use trajectories and mental health correlates using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), which followed a nationally representative sample, including 337 AI youth and young adults, from ages 11-17 to 26-34 over four waves. Growth mixture models are used to examine smoking trajectories. Results will reveal classes of longitudinal patterned smoking behaviors among AIs. The present study also examines predictors of smoking trajectory classes, including demographic variables (e.g., age, sex, income, health insurance status), family variables (e.g., parental smoking, number of household smokers), peer smoking, and child mental health symptoms (e.g., baseline depressive symptoms and delinquency). Understanding patterns of smoking onset and duration, as well as smoking abstinence, in AI adolescents and young adults can inform existing, as well as the development of future, culturally-relevant smoking cessation interventions for AIs.

Reference Type

Conference paper

Book Title

Native Children’s Research Exchange Conference


Cole, Ashley
Clawson, A.

Year Published


City of Publication

Aurora, CO

Reference ID