This study examined the association between mental health and smoking cessation among rural youth. Participants were 113 male and 145 female adolescents ages 14–19 from rural West Virginia and North Carolina. Participants were enrolled in the American Lung Association's 10-week Not On Tobacco (N-O-T) program or a 15-min single-dose brief intervention. Baseline and postprogram measures were completed on smoking status (i.e., quit, reduction), nicotine dependence, smoking history, and depression and anxiety. Results showed that more N-O-T participants quit and reduced smoking than did brief intervention participants. Intervention group, baseline smoking rate, and the Group × Gender, Group × Anxiety, and Group × Depression interactions were significant predictors of change in smoking behavior from baseline to postprogram. In conclusion, more N-O-T participants demonstrated favorable changes in smoking than did brief intervention participants. Approximately 1/3 of youth exhibited mental health pathology; more females than males. Levels of depression and anxiety improved from baseline to postprogram, overall. Although the extent of the impact of mental health on cessation outcomes was inconclusive, findings suggest that rural youth who smoke may be at risk for pathological depression and anxiety. Future cessation programming with rural youth should consider the inclusion of coping and stress management skills and mental health referral protocols as significant program components.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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