Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Minority teen boys smoke more when they perceive discrimination; girls do not

Date:
January 22, 2010
Source:
Indiana University School of Medicine
Summary:
Researchers in Indiana report that minority teen boys smoke more when they perceived discrimination, girls reacted differently. There does not appear to be an association between perceived discrimination and smoking in minority girls, ages 12-15. For minority girls ages 16-19, perceived discrimination is associated with lower, not higher, rates of smoking.

The perception of discrimination increases the amount teenage minority boys smoke but does not increase the amount teenage minority girls smoke, according to a new study from the Indiana University School of Medicine.

This study, to be published in the March 2010 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, has been posted by the journal online.

While the IU researchers found that minority boys smoke more when they perceived discrimination, girls reacted differently. There does not appear to be an association between perceived discrimination and smoking in minority girls, ages 12 to 15. For minority girls ages 16 to 19, perceived discrimination is associated with lower, not higher, rates of smoking.

"We looked at the association between self-reported discrimination and adolescent smoking because both the perception of discrimination and the rate of smoking are so high in minority teens. Our findings in girls, especially in the older girls, really surprised us. We do not know why older girls who perceived discrimination were less likely to smoke but there may be a possibility that they perceived discrimination because they were pregnant and also that they did not smoke due to the pregnancy," said study first author Sarah E. Wiehe, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine and a Regenstrief Institute affiliated scientist.

The researchers investigated 2,561 black and Latino adolescents, ages 12-19, from low-income households residing in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. One in four of these adolescents reported discrimination in at least one setting in the last six months. Twelve percent reported smoking in the last 30 days.

Dr. Wiehe said she and her colleagues studied the association between perceived discrimination and adolescent smoking because the rates of both are so high in minority teens.

Previous studies have found perceived racial/ethnic discrimination to be associated with adolescent and young adult smoking, but did not break down the linkage by gender.

"Boys and girls may experience discrimination differently due to where they spend time and that may account for the differences in whether discrimination was associated with smoking. In other words, the context of discrimination matters. We need to be aware that discrimination is a public health problem for adolescents -- one related to major health issues like smoking -- and need to actively work to reduce these occurrences," said Dr. Wiehe.

Boys' increased smoking in higher discrimination settings may reflect increased stress from gender-specific targeting by police and businesses, the study concluded. "Because of the very high smoking rates among young minority men, law enforcement, schools, and health care providers need to work closely with communities to prevent smoking initiation" said J. Dennis Fortenberry M.D., M.S, professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine and senior author of the paper. "Successful prevention may need to include a more comprehensive approach to the issues young minority men encounter in their daily lives."

The researchers plan to follow teens to determine where they spend time and their experiences in those places to see how these are related to health behaviors such as smoking to better target strategies to reduce the likelihood of smoking initiation or progression of smoking and other risky behaviors. In previous studies, Dr. Wiehe has explored ways to track teens including the use of GPS-enabled cellular telephones.

Co-authors of the AJPH study, in addition to Dr. Wiehe and Dr. Fortenberry are Matthew C. Aalsma, Ph.D. and Gilbert C. Liu, M.D., M.S., also of the IU School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Liu is a Regenstrief Institute affiliated scientist.

The IU School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute are located on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sarah E. Wiehe, Matthew C. Aalsma, Gilbert C. Liu, and J. Dennis Fortenberry. Gender Differences in the Association Between Perceived Discrimination and Adolescent Smoking. American Journal of Public Health, 2010; DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.169771

Cite This Page:

Indiana University School of Medicine. "Minority teen boys smoke more when they perceive discrimination; girls do not." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119121220.htm>.
Indiana University School of Medicine. (2010, January 22). Minority teen boys smoke more when they perceive discrimination; girls do not. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119121220.htm
Indiana University School of Medicine. "Minority teen boys smoke more when they perceive discrimination; girls do not." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119121220.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins