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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The relationship between personality- and affect-related traits, gender and intention to try smoking Memetovic, Jasmina


BACKGROUND: Of the many psychosocial factors shown to be associated with an incr eased risk of becoming a smoker, intentions to try smoking represent one of the strongest predictors of future tobacco use. Although a great deal of research has been done to identify potential determinants of tobacco smoking, very little research has exa mined the extent to which known risk factors for tobacco smoking are related to tobacco use intentions in adolescents who have yet to try tobacco smoking. The goal of this investigation was to examine the relationships between personality and affect - relat ed risk factors for smoking, as measured by the Substance Use Risk Profile Scale (SURPS), and smoking intentions in a cohort of adolescents who had not yet experimented with tobacco smoking. As part of this investigation, the impact of gender on the measu rement of these personality traits and the assessment of their relationships with smoking intentions will be examined. METHODS: Study Population: Cross - sectional data provided by Grade 8 and 9 students participating in the British Columbia Adolescent Subs tance Use Survey, captured in the fall of 2010 (N=1352). SURPS : The 23 - item version was used to measure 4 dimensions: Anxiety Sensitivity, Hopelessness , Impulsivity and Sensation Seeking . Gender - Based Measurement Invariance: Multi - group structural equatio n modelling, using M - Plus 6.12, will be used to assess measurement invariance by gender for each of the four SURPS dimensions. Personality and Intention to Smoke: Generalized Estimating Equations was used to examine the relationship between each SURPS dim ension and intention to try cigarettes in the future . Effect of Gender : Interactions between gender and each SURPS construct was also examined. RESULTS: Gender - based Measurement Invariance: Measurement invariance by gender was demonstrated for the SURPS. Associati ons with intention to try smoking: Hopelessness, Sensation Seeking and Impulsivity were found to be positively associate d with intention to try cigarettes in the future among participants who indicated they had never tried smoking a cigarette pr oduct (“even a puff or two”). The SURPS dimensions did not significantly interact with gender. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that characteristics related to impulsivity, sensation seeking and hopelessness are positively associated with the intention to try smoking.

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