|Botvin, G. J., Batson, H., Witts-Vitale, S., Bess, V., Baker, E., and Dusenbury, L. (1989). A psychosocial approach to smoking prevention for urban black youth. Public Health Reports, 104, 573-582.
Traditional prevention approaches that focus solely on providing information about the adverse health consequences of smoking have consistently been demonstrated to be ineffective. In roughly the past eight years, a growing body of research has provided evidence supporting the effectiveness of smoking prevention approaches which increase adolescents' resistance to social influences to smoke either alone or in combination with approaches which teach general life skills. Both approaches have been found to significantly reduce new cigarette smoking, with reductions ranging from 35 to 80 percent. [when compared with controls]
A major limitation of this research is that these approaches have been tested almost exclusively on white, middle-class adolescents. Because of this, little is known about the extent to which these newer prevention approaches work for urban black youth. There is also very little information available concerning the etiology of smoking among black populations, which means that there is little empirical data available for guiding efforts to either refine current prevention models or develop new models suitable for black youth.
Our purpose in conducting this study, therefore, was to provide pilot data with urban black students regarding the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of a prevention approach previously found to be effective with white middle class students attending suburban schools.