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Article | Tobacco Smoking in Adolescence Predicts Maladaptive Coping Styles in Adulthood


Introduction: To examine the extent to which cigarette smoking in adolescence is associated with maladaptive versus adaptive coping behaviors in adulthood.

Method: The data came from a longitudinal study of New Zealand adolescents followed into adulthood at age 32 years. Using structural equation modeling (SEM), we examined the predictive association between daily smoking of cigarettes and symptoms of tobacco dependence from 18 to 26 years of age and later coping at age 32 years. We included pathways from childhood family disadvantage in addition to both adolescent stress–worry and adult coping in the model.

Results: SEM revealed that cigarette smoking had a small but direct inverse effect on later adaptive coping (−.14) and a direct effect on maladaptive coping (.23) independent of the relationships between adolescent coping and stress–worry and later adult coping.

Conclusions: The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that tobacco smoking may inhibit the development of self-efficacy or one’s ability to act with appropriate coping behaviors in any given situation.

The full paper can be accessed here.

Citation: McGee R., Williams S., Nada-Raja s., Olsson C. (2013). Tobacco Smoking in Adolescence Predicts Maladaptive Coping Styles in Adulthood. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, advance online. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntt081

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