Adolescent tolerance for deviance, cigarette smoking trajectories, and premature mortality: A longitudinal study

Jonathan T. Macy, Holly O'Rourke, Dong Chul Seo, Clark Presson, Laurie Chassin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Cigarette smoking is a well-established cause of excess morbidity and mortality in the United States and globally. The current study builds on the existing literature by examining how smoking trajectories might be a mechanism through which adolescent tolerance for deviance predicts premature all-cause and tobacco-specific mortality. Participants were from a cohort-sequential study conducted in the Midwestern United States of the natural history of cigarette smoking from adolescence through midlife that collected nine waves of data from 1980 to 2011. For the current study, we selected participants who were measured at least once at age 18 or older and who did not die before age 24 (n = 7575). Participants’ tolerance for deviance was assessed in adolescence, smoking trajectory group was based on self-reported smoking status during the first six waves of data collection, and cause of death for deceased participants (n = 222) was obtained from the National Death Index. Mediation analyses using the joint significance test were conducted separately for all-cause mortality and tobacco-specific mortality. Adolescent tolerance for deviance significantly predicted smoking trajectory group over and above the influence of covariates. Adolescents with higher tolerance for deviance were more likely to belong to any smoking trajectory group compared to abstainers, and membership in a smoking trajectory group characterized by early onset and heavy, persistent smoking was related to premature all-cause and tobacco-specific mortality. Finally, smoking trajectory group was a significant mediator of the relation between adolescent tolerance for deviance and all-cause mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-123
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Adolescent
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Mortality
  • Personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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