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Author: Friedman, Abigail Sarah
Resulting in 2 citations.
1. Friedman, Abigail Sarah
Essays in Health Economics: Understanding Risky Health Behaviors
Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Health Policy, Harvard University, 2014
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79 Young Adult
Publisher: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT)
Keyword(s): Bullying/Victimization; Child Self-Administered Supplement (CSAS); Cigarette Use (see Smoking); Crime; Drug Use; Exercise; Neighborhood Effects; Parent Supervision/Monitoring; Peers/Peer influence/Peer relations; Substance Use; Trauma/Death in family

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

This dissertation presents three papers applying health economics to the study of risky behaviors. The first uses data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to examine the relationship between adverse events and risky behaviors among adolescents. Substance use responses to experiencing either of two adverse events--violent crime victimization or death of a non-family member one felt close to--explain 6.7 percent of first cigarette use, and 14.3 percent of first use of illegal drugs other than marijuana. Analyses of exercise, a positive coping mechanism, find shock-responses consistent with a coping-response, but not with rational, time-inconsistent, or non-rational drivers considered here. I conclude that distressing events lead to risky behaviors, with a coping response contributing to this effect.
Bibliography Citation
Friedman, Abigail Sarah. Essays in Health Economics: Understanding Risky Health Behaviors. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Health Policy, Harvard University, 2014.
2. Friedman, Abigail Sarah
Smoking to Cope: Addictive Behavior as a Response to Mental Distress
Journal of Health Economics published online (4 May 2020): 102323.
Also: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167629619307738
Cohort(s): NLSY79 Young Adult
Publisher: Elsevier
Keyword(s): Childhood Adversity/Trauma; Depression (see also CESD); Health, Mental; Smoking (see Cigarette Use)

Individuals with mental health problems smoke at far higher rates than their peers, and have done for decades. This paper explores a potential explanation: smoking as a means to cope with distress. The proposed "coping response" framework is assessed by analyzing how adolescents respond to two events known to trigger acute mental distress: violent crime victimization and death of a non-family member the respondent felt close to. Consistent with a coping response, these shocks yield statistically significant increases in first cigarette use, recent smoking, and daily smoking, with greater initiation responses among those who are depressed at baseline, and dampened responsiveness among those facing higher cigarette taxes. Back-of-the-envelope estimates suggest that differential responsiveness to adverse events by baseline depression explains 5% of first cigarette use in this sample, and almost a third of the gap in adolescent smoking initiation between those in the highest and lowest tercile of depression scores.
Bibliography Citation
Friedman, Abigail Sarah. "Smoking to Cope: Addictive Behavior as a Response to Mental Distress." Journal of Health Economics published online (4 May 2020): 102323.