Does Avoidant Coping Influence Young Adults' Smoking?: A Ten-Year Longitudinal Study.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, Volume 13, Issue 10, p.998-1002 (2011)


2011, Adaptation, Psychological, Adolescent, Adult, Center-Authored Paper, Collaborative Data Services Core Facility, Female, Humans, Logistic Models, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Personality Disorders, Public Health Sciences Division, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Shared Resources, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Stress, Psychological, Washington, Young Adult


INTRODUCTION: Young adults who avoid their emotions may be at risk for starting smoking or not quitting smoking. This study investigated whether a preliminary measure of avoidant coping longitudinally predicts young adults' smoking escalation and cessation. METHODS: In a sample of the 3,305 participants, originally from Washington State, a preliminary measure of self-reported avoidant coping at age 18 was used to predict both smoking escalation and cessation at ages 20 and 28 with both probability and logistic regression models (10-year retention: 98.5%). RESULTS: Individuals who scored high on avoidant coping at 18 were 2.52 (p = .001) times more likely to acquire smoking by 20. However, there was no evidence that avoidant coping at age 18 predicted smoking escalation at 28 or cessation for 20- and 28-year-olds. Conclusions: An avoidant coping style may have a short-term effect on young adults' smoking acquisition. Future research using a precise and well-validated measure of avoidant coping is now needed to test this possibility.