Cancer Control Research5R03CA130589-02
VOCATIONAL STUDENT TOBACCO USE
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Although the prevalence of tobacco use decreased for most segments of the US population between 1993 and 2000, disparities persist. Young adults and individuals in the lowest socioeconomic status (SES) categories report the highest rates of tobacco use. Low SES increases exposure to multiple types of stress and stress is positively associated with tobacco use. Unfortunately, studies examining the putative mechanisms, or mediators, of the stress-tobacco use relationship for low SES young adults are scare. Also lacking from the literature is an understanding of the roles of race/ethnicity and cultural factors as moderators of the relationships among cumulative stress, depressive symptoms, and tobacco use. This application aims to: 1) determine whether depressive symptoms mediate the relationship between an accumulation of life events stress, discrimination stress, financial stress, role overload and tobacco use in low SES young adults and b) Explore the cultural factors that may moderate the cumulative stress and depressive symptoms effects. Quantitative (survey) and qualitative (focus group interviews) methodologies will be used to address these aims. Approximately 900 ethnically diverse young adult students enrolled in two 2-year post-secondary vocational programs will be asked to complete an anonymous survey examining varying types of stress, depressive symptoms, and tobacco use. A subset of these students will be asked to participate in focus group interviews aimed at understanding the cultural factors involved in tobacco use. The Specific Aims of the project will be to: 1) determine if levels of stress and depressive symptoms vary across tobacco use 2) examine the relationships among cumulative stress, depressive symptoms, tobacco use, and race/ethnicity, after accounting for gender and income and 3) explore cultural differences in young adult perceptions of why they use tobacco and the roles of stress and depressive symptoms in their tobacco use. This proposed project is consistent with the Healthy People 2010 Goal #2 of reducing health disparities and the objective of reducing cigarette smoking by adults. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Each year more than 440,000 adults die from tobacco-related diseases and smoking, the most common form of tobacco use, is causally linked to the development of numerous cancers including, but not limited to, lung, bladder, kidney, cervical, and esophageal. Young adults and individuals in the lowest socioeconomic status categories report the highest rates of tobacco use and the lowest rates of cessation. Development of effective prevention and intervention programs aimed at reducing tobacco use in this population require an understanding of the factors that contribute to their tobacco use.