Sexual orientation disparities in adolescent cigarette smoking: Intersections with race/ethnicity, gender, and age

Heather L. Corliss*, Margaret Rosario, Michelle A. Birkett, Michael E. Newcomb, Francisco O. Buchting, Alicia K. Matthews

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations


Objectives. We examined sexual orientation differences in adolescent smoking and intersections with race/ethnicity, gender, and age. Methods. We pooled Youth Risk Behavior Survey data collected in 2005 and 2007 from 14 jurisdictions; the analytic sample comprised observations from 13 of those jurisdictions (n = 64 397). We compared smoking behaviors of sexual minorities and heterosexuals on 2 dimensions of sexual orientation: identity (heterosexual, gay-lesbian, bisexual, unsure) and gender of lifetime sexual partners (only opposite sex, only same sex, or both sexes). Multivariable regressions examined whether race/ethnicity, gender, and age modified sexual orientation differences in smoking. Results. Sexual minorities smoked more than heterosexuals. Disparities varied by sexual orientation dimension: they were larger when we compared adolescents by identity rather than gender of sexual partners. In some instances race/ethnicity, gender, and age modified smoking disparities: Black lesbians- gays, Asian American and Pacific Islander lesbians-gays and bisexuals, younger bisexuals, and bisexual girls had greater risk. Conclusions. Sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, gender, and age should be considered in research and practice to better understand and reduce disparities in adolescent smoking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1137-1147
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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