Risk and Protective Factors for Adolescent Smoking in Rural versus Urban Environments
Although considerable literature can be found concerning the etiology of cigarette smoking, research suggests that a major gap exists pertaining to predictors of adolescent smoking for rural populations. The purpose of this study is to compare risk and protective factors for adolescents living in rural and urban environments. An ecological framework was used to examine variables from the individual, family, peer, school, and community contexts. The influence of these variables was assessed on a sample of (n=3,166) 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students from Virginia public schools. Linear regression analyses revealed that parental attitudes and best friends' smoking behavior was influential in the smoking behavior of both rural and urban adolescents. School and community level variables were only influential in smoking behavior among the urban adolescents.