Parental Smoking Behavior, Ethnicity, Gender, and the Cigarette Smoking Behavior of High School Students

Paul R. Yarnold

Optimal Data Analysis, LLC

Novometric analysis is used to predict cigarette smoking (class variable) of 3,577 Anglo-American, 1,001 Mexican-American, and 797 Indian-American (multicategorical attribute) high-school students. Additional categorical attributes used were gender, and dummy-variable indicators of whether the student’s mother, and whether the student’s father, did or did not smoke. The globally optimal model in this application used only gender as an attribute: moderate ESS=27.1; D=5.4; p<0.001. The next more-complex model in the descendant family (moderate ESS=29.7; D=11.8; p’s<0.001) identified five student strata: female Indian-American students had the highest smoking rate (45.6% of 390 students), and male students for whom neither parent smoked had the lowest smoking rate (14.9% of 564 students).

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