Cultural/interpersonal values and smoking in an ethnically diverse sample of Southern California adolescents.J Cult Divers. 2006 Spring; 13(1):55-63.JC
In ethnically diverse school contexts, values from multiple cultures might influence adolescents' attitudes and behaviors. This study developed scales to assess cultural values among Southern California 6'-grade adolescents (N=2281) and evaluated the associations between values and smoking. The scales assessed values salient in many Hispanic and Asian cultures: Respect for Adults (e.g., filial piety, respeto), Interpersonal Harmony (e.g., saving face, simpatia), and Differentiated Gender Roles (e.g., machismo). In cross-sectional and one-year longitudinal models, Respect for Adults and Interpersonal Harmony were associated with a lower risk of lifetime smoking. The associations were significant even after controlling for demographic characteristics, friends' smoking, and parents' smoking, indicating that values influence adolescents' behavior over and above the effects of modeling and peer influence. Increased understanding of adolescents' values could inform the creation of smoking prevention programs for ethnically diverse adolescents.