Social-ecological theory posits that health-related behavior is shaped by the environments and settings that surround us. We examined e-cigarette susceptibility and ever use prevalence among central Texas middle school students by the level of economic disadvantage (ED) of their school. As a secondary aim, we explored gender and ethnic differences (Hispanic vs. White) in e-cigarette susceptibility across school ED levels. A cross-sectional analysis was conducted of baseline data collected in 2017 as part of the CATCH My Breath study. Participants (n = 5278) were 6th grade students from 23 central Texas public middle schools. E-cigarette susceptibility/use and demographics were self-reported; school ED was determined by Texas Education Agency. Analyses included chi-square tests and multi-level logistic regression. E-cigarette susceptibility and use varied by school ED for total sample (p <.0001) and by ethnicity (p ≤.003). While e-cigarette susceptibility was higher in boys (p <.001), no gender differences were found for e-cigarette use. Students in the highest school ED quartile (Q4) (lowest SES) had significantly higher odds of e-cigarette susceptibility (AOR = 2.01; 95% CI: 1.49–2.71) and use (AOR = 8.12, 95% CI: 2.58–26.30) compared with Q1 students. Significant gender differences in e-cigarette susceptibility persisted within school ED quartiles 1–3 (p ≤.001); no gender differences were found for Q4 (p =.537). Despite overall higher e-cigarette susceptibility for Hispanic students, they had similar prevalence as White students within three school ED quartiles. Findings underscore a higher risk for e-cigarette susceptibility/use among central Texas sixth graders attending high ED schools and provide foundation for further exploration of the school socioeconomic context in adolescent e-cigarette use.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health