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01-10-2006 | Original Paper | Uitgave 5/2006

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 5/2006

Pubertal Development, Choice of Friends, and Smoking Initiation among Adolescent Males

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 5/2006
Auteurs:
Laurie A. Drapela, Janet L. Gebelt, Nick McRee
Belangrijke opmerkingen
(Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin), is an Assistant Professor at Washington State University at Vancouver. Her areas of interest include juvenile delinquency and substance abuse.
(Ph.D., Rutgers: The State University of New Jersey) is an Assistant Professor at Westfield State College. Her area of interest is adolescent identity development.
(Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin) is an Associate Professor at the University of Portland. His areas of interest include biosocial models of adolescent problem behavior.

Abstract

Prior research has indicated that pubertal development and peer associations are important determinants of adolescent smoking behavior. However, more remains to be learned about why these variables matter or how they may be related to one another in ways that lead to the initiation of smoking. Using contractual data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we consider the relationship between early pubertal development and associations with close friends who smoke, and smoking initiation among male youths. The results of the study reveal a link between advanced pubertal development and the initiation of smoking among boys, but we discover that the effect is indirect, mediated by a greater propensity of sexually mature males to forge friendships with peers who smoke. We also find that this propensity is greatest among the youngest adolescents in the sample, suggesting that the age of the respondent conditions the effects of pubertal development on the formation of friendships with peers who smoke.

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