Transition and Change: The Prospective Effects of Post-Traumatic Stress on Smoking Trajectories in the First Year of College

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jacquelyn W. White, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Objective: College matriculation begins a period of transition that is marked by new freedoms and responsibilities and by increases in a variety of risky behaviors, including smoking. Trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are well-established risk factors for smoking outcomes, and thus may be a point of intervention for college smoking. Yet, no studies have examined associations among trauma, PTSD, and smoking in college students. The present study provides such an examination. Method: Matriculating student smokers (N = 346) completed surveys in September (T1) and at 5 subsequent time points (T2–T6) over their first year of college. With latent growth analysis, we modeled smoking trajectories conditioned on PTSD symptom status (i.e., No PTSD Symptoms vs. Partial PTSD vs. Full PTSD). Results: Results showed that although smoking tended to decline during the first semester for all groups, significant risk for escalation in smoking during the second semester was conferred specifically by the presence of PTSD at matriculation. Conclusions: Interventions that offer support and resources to students entering college with PTSD may help to prevent smoking behaviors from escalating and may ultimately prevent the adoption of daily smoking in later adulthood.

Additional Information

Health Psychology, 32 (7), 757-767
Language: English
Date: 2013
PTSD, college, smoking, trajectories, students, trauma, matriculation, risk factors, transition, change

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