Overreporting of smokeless tobacco use by adolescent males

Stuart J. Cohen, Barry P. Katz, Catherine A. Drook, Arden G. Christen, James L. McDonald, Byron L. Olson, Lisbeth A. Cloys, George K. Stookey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This study evaluates the impact of a pipeline assessment (salivary cotinine determination) on the accuracy of self-reported use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco by 160 rural seventh-and eighth-grade males ranging in age from 12 to 16. Half of them were randomly assigned to complete a questionnaire on tobacco use prior to revealing the biochemical validation materials and collecting samples. The others had the samples collected prior to receiving and completing the questionnaires. The questionnaire-first group reported significantly greater smokeless tobacco use than did the pipeline-first group. Only for the latter were their self-reports significantly corroborated by the cotinine results. These results suggest that the utilization of a biochemical pipeline not only can improve self-reported tobacco use but also may help identify perceptions about the social desirability of using harmful substances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-393
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1988


  • adolescent
  • bogus pipeline
  • cigarette
  • self-reports
  • smokeless tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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