The study was conducted at the University of Southern California (USC) and appears in the journal Child Development.
Researchers looked at 1,260 ethnically diverse, urban, middle-class sixth through eighth graders. They asked the students about their own smoking behavior, and they asked them to name friends at school as well as the organized sports they took part in at school. Then, using a social network method they developed, they examined how participation in sports with teammates who smoked affected adolescents' smoking behavior.
They found that youths were more likely to smoke as they were increasingly exposed to teammates who smoked, and that this tendency may be stronger among girls than boys. But they also found that youths who took part in a greater number of sports were less likely to smoke than those who participated in fewer.
"This result suggests that peers on athletic teams influence the smoking behavior of others even though there might be a protective effect overall of increased participation in athletics on smoking," according to Kayo Fujimoto, assistant professor of health promotion and behavioral sciences at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, who led the study when she was at USC.
The study has implications for programs aimed at preventing teens from smoking. "Current guidelines recommend the use of peer leaders selected within the class to implement such programs," Fujimoto points out. "The findings of this study suggest that peer-led interactive programs should be expanded to include sports teams as well."
Sarah Hutcheon | EurekAlert!
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The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
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Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
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