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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Adolescent Smoking and Personality Traits: a Longitudinal Study Considering Socio-Economic Status of the Family, Alcohol Consumption, Parental and the Best Friend's Smoking

Krystiine Liiv, MSc, National Institute for Health Development, Hiiu 42, Tallinn, Estonia

Objective: This longitudinal study examined the relationship between personality traits and smoking among 401 adolescents twice: at age 15 and 18 years. It also investigated if the association between personality traits and smoking is independent of socio-economic status of the family, alcohol consumption, parental and the best friend's smoking.

Methods: Five Factor Model of personality (neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness) questionnaires were filled in by adolescents' mothers. Aggressiveness and hyperactivity were assessed by class-teachers. Other data were obtained by questionnaires from adolescents and their parents.

Results: Lower conscientiousness and higher hyperactivity were associated with smoking after controlling demographic and environmental variables both at age 15 and 18. Higher extraversion was associated with smoking only at age 15. The results further suggest openness to experience to be only personality trait which predicted smoking 3 years later. Strong relationship was found between smoking and alcohol consumption, parental and best friend's smoking.