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Minority teen boys smoke more when they perceive discrimination; girls do not
Date:1/19/2010

mination and adolescent smoking because the rates of both are so high in minority teens.

Previous studies have found perceived racial/ethnic discrimination to be associated with adolescent and young adult smoking, but did not break down the linkage by gender.

"Boys and girls may experience discrimination differently due to where they spend time and that may account for the differences in whether discrimination was associated with smoking. In other words, the context of discrimination matters. We need to be aware that discrimination is a public health problem for adolescents one related to major health issues like smoking and need to actively work to reduce these occurrences," said Dr. Wiehe.

Boys' increased smoking in higher discrimination settings may reflect increased stress from gender-specific targeting by police and businesses, the study concluded. "Because of the very high smoking rates among young minority men, law enforcement, schools, and health care providers need to work closely with communities to prevent smoking initiation" said J. Dennis Fortenberry M.D., M.S, professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine and senior author of the paper. "Successful prevention may need to include a more comprehensive approach to the issues young minority men encounter in their daily lives."

The researchers plan to follow teens to determine where they spend time and their experiences in those places to see how these are related to health behaviors such as smoking to better target strategies to reduce the likelihood of smoking initiation or progression of smoking and other risky behaviors. In previous studies, Dr. Wiehe has explored ways to track teens including the use of GPS-enabled cellular telephones.


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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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