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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

CARIS, Luis; VARAS, Marianela; ANTHONY, Christopher B.  and  ANTHONY, James C.. Behavioral problems and tobacco use among adolescents in Chile. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2003, vol.14, n.2, pp. 84-90. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892003000700002.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between behavioral problems and tobacco smoking among adolescent students in Chile. METHODS: Data were drawn from a study that included questionnaire surveys of 46 907 school-attending adolescents in all 13 of the administrative regions of Chile. Assessments were based on an adapted, Spanish-language version of the Drug Use Screening Inventory. The conditional form of the logistic regression model was used for analysis, with matching of students on individual schools, and with further statistical adjustments for sex, age, and selected risk factors. RESULTS: The prevalence of tobacco smoking among the adolescents was very high across all of Chile, with a level between 56% and 65% in each of the 13 regions. The estimated odds of tobacco use in youths at the highest level of behavioral problems was about twice that for youths at the lowest levels, both before and after controlling for sex, age, lack of participation in recreational activities, level of irritability, and levels of problems with school, family attention, and mental health. CONCLUSIONS: These findings help to complement and complete the evidence of prior studies on tobacco smoking among adolescents with behavior problems, including recent research on Central American youths. Although the magnitude of observed associations in Chile was not as great as that for the associations found in Central America, both the strength of these associations and their statistical significance were observed throughout Chile. This is the first study in Chile on potentially causal relationships such as these.

Keywords : Smoking; social behavior disorders; adolescent; adolescent behavior; Chile.

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