Differences in Risk-Taking Propensity Across Inner-City Adolescent Ever- and Never-Smokers

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Smoking, Balloon dilatation, adolescent, demography, public health medicine, sensory perception, risk-taking behavior, african american, teenage smoking, high schools, self-report

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Because adolescent smoking is a significant public health concern, potential value lies in understanding and identifying the psychological factors that distinguish ever- and never-smokers. To that end, we examined the relationship between risk-taking propensity as measured by the Balloon Analogue Risk Task and ever-smoking (i.e., even one puff) versus never-smoking in a sample of 125 predominantly African American high-school adolescents (M = 15.1, SD = 1.5). Results indicated that ever-smokers and never-smokers differed on risk-taking propensity; further risk-taking propensity was related to smoking status above and beyond both demographic variables and a measure of self-reported impulsive sensation seeking. We discuss these results in relation to the potential utility of a multimethod assessment approach (i.e., self-report measures and behavioral tasks) to identify adolescents' risk-taking susceptibilities and engagement in smoking and other risk-taking behaviors.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Nicotine and Tobacco Research, v. 7, no. 1, p. 71-79