The ARCH Lab has contributed to two articles using data collected as part of the COMPASS (Cannabis, Obesity, Mental Health, Physical activity, Alcohol, Smoking, Sedentary behavior) study.
The first article, “Does having one or more smoking friends mediate the transition from e-cigarette use to cigarette smoking: a longitudinal study of Canadian youth”, looks at data from over 5000 Canadian high school students. Social influence on youth, or having friends that smoke, is thought to be an important factor in e-cigarette and cigarette smoking behaviors. Results suggested that having smoking friends did not explain the relationship between e-cigarette use and cigarette smoking uptake, despite being a risk factor for both e-cigarette and cigarette smoking.
This work sheds light on the important role of social influence on smoking behaviours among youth and highlights an area for future work in order to provide effective and targeted smoking prevention programming.
The second article, titled, “Reluctancy towards help-seeking for mental health concerns at secondary school among students in the COMPASS study”, aimed to assess students’ attitudes towards mental health help-seeking within the school environment. In the over 40,000 youth, 58% reported being reluctant to seek help for their mental health at school. Students with lower self-reported mental health, emotion regulation, family and peer support, and school connectedness were more reluctant to seek help for their mental health at school.
The information collected from these Canadian high-schoolers can inform strategies and programming aimed at improving help-seeking in schools, particularly in the most vulnerable of youth.