Aims: Little is known about smoking during the transition to college. The current study examined trajectories of smoking among college freshmen, how trajectories predicted later smoking and the social context of smoking. Design: Weekly assessments of daily smoking were collected via the web during the first year of college for a large cohort with a previous history of smoking. Participants and setting: A total of 193 college freshmen from a large public university with a previous history of smoking who smoked frequently enough to be included in trajectory analysis. Measurements: Measures included weekly reports of daily smoking, family smoking, perceived peer attitudes and smoking, social norms and social smoking environment. Findings: Seven trajectories were identified: one of low-level sporadic smoking, one of low-level smoking with a small increase during the year, two classes with a substantial decrease during the year, two classes with relatively small decreases and one class with a substantial increase in smoking. Trajectories of smoking in the freshman year predicted levels of sophomore year smoking, and some social context variables tended to change as smoking increased or decreased for a given trajectory class. Conclusions: The transition into college is marked by changes in smoking, with smoking escalating for some students and continuing into the sophomore year. Shifts in social context that support smoking were associated with trajectories of smoking. Despite the focus of developmental models on smoking in early adolescence, the transition into college warrants further investigation as a dynamic period for smoking.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health