Susan Lee


Studies show that smoking rates differ across ethnic groups, but it remains unclear why this is the case or what unique factors predict smoking behaviors in each group. No studies have examined the role culture plays in smoking behaviors in the context of other commonly cited predictors of behaviors. Participants included 42 students recruited from De Anza 9th grade Academy in Southern California. The mean age of the students was 15 years old (SD = 0.55). This age group was selected because it is the time when adolescents are most likely to first try smoking. There were 51.2% males and 48.8% females in the sample. The ethnic makeup of students who participated was 71.4% Latino, 14.3% Mixed race, 9.5% Other, 2.4% African American, 2.4% Asian-American, and 0% Anglo. Results indicated that filial piety/respeto did not predict smoking behaviors. Religiosity was the only significant predictor of filial piety. Academic aspiration, peer influence, and perceived risks and benefits of smoking did not mediate the relationship between filial piety and smoking behaviors. Even though the directionality of the relationship between religiosity and filial piety cannot determined from the current study, the significant relationship between these two factors suggests that researchers may want to study the effects of the possible link between religiosity and filial piety. Although intervention programs may not be able to incorporate religion explicitly into their curriculum, such information may be useful to parents as they make decisions about how to raise their family and whether they wish to include religion in their lives. In addition, it may be informative to study the efficacy of smoking prevention programs delivered through churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples. Due to the challenges of this study, some questions remain unanswered. It would be worthwhile to continue to explore the mechanisms of filial piety on peer influence, academic aspiration, and perceptions of smoking using Betancourt’s model; as an explanation of adolescent smoking behavior across ethnic groups and using a larger sample size. Moreover, it may be helpful to test the efficacy of anti-smoking programs designed to target adolescents’ sense of duty or obligation to their family and parents.

LLU Discipline

Clinical Psychology




School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Morrell, Holly E. R.

Second Advisor

Betancourt, Hector M.

Third Advisor

Navarrete, Brenda V.

Fourth Advisor

Neece, Cameron

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Smoking - Psychological Aspects; Adolescent Psychology; Health Behavior in Adolescence; Conduct of Life - Cross-cultural Studies; Attitude to Health - Adolescent; Risk-taking - Adolescent; Social Behavior - Psychology - Adolescent

Subject - Local

Smoking Rates; Behavior Predictors; Filial Piety; Religiosity; Smoking Prevention Programs;



Page Count


Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives