Features of personality traits in smoking students — residents of the Northern territories of Russia

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Abstract

AIM: To identify psychological factors of the risk of tobacco addiction among students of the European North of Russia.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study involved 137 students of Arkhangelsk state universities, comprising 37 men and 100 women aged from 17 to 25 years, preselected for a number of characteristics (born in Arkhangelsk or the Arkhangelsk region; raised in a full, socially prosperous family; without financial and household problems; without chronic somatic and neurological diseases). Identification and analysis of tobacco smoking experience were carried out by retrospective self-assessment of the subjects. The psychological status of the respondents was determined by assessing the indicators of the Freiburg multifactorial personality questionnaire (FPI); accentuations of temperament and character, suggestibility, frustration, irritability and resentment; adventurousness, behavioral, social, professional, economic, political activity, and social destructiveness. The Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney method and Fisher’s F-criterion were used for statistical analyzes.

RESULTS: In the group of smoking men, high values of hyperthymia (Me=18 units), masculinity (Me=8 units), sociability (Me=9 units), behavioral activity (Me=7 units), and social activity (Me=7 units) were recorded. In the group of smoking women, high values of exaltation (Me=24 units), masculinity (Me=8 units), sociability (Me=9 units), and social activity (Me=7 units) were recorded.

CONCLUSION: This study reports, for the first time, the features of personality traits in smoking boys and girls permanently residing in the Northern territories of the Russian Federation. Psychological factors of the risk of tobacco addiction formation in boys and girls permanently residing in the Northern territories of the Russian Federation have been determined.

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Introduction
Tobacco smoking is one of the most common addictions, covering more than 28% of the Russian population over 15 years old. According to the Federal State Statistics Service, the maximum level of tobacco consumption in Russia is observed among residents of the regions of the North and the Far East [11]. It should be noted that over the past 20 years, there have been no significant changes in the ratio of the level of tobacco smoking between the regions of Russia [3].
This information testifies to the possible influence of the environment on the human demand for adaptogens and, in particular, tobacco. The existing set of exogenous (natural, technogenic, social) factors that determine group and individual patterns and forms of risky behavior, one way or another, determine the level of consumption of legal psychoactive substances (PAS).
Modern research in this direction, as a rule, focuses on the study of the genotype of individual racial and ethnic groups of the Earth's population that have social and medical problems in relation to tobacco addiction. Thus, in large-scale studies that covered 43485 people from four racial and ethnic groups of the US population (white population, Hispanics, East Asian population and African Americans), complex relationships of genotype, socioeconomic status, educational level and marital status with tobacco smoking were revealed [16]. It was determined that the factors of the social environment predominantly initiate tobacco smoking in early adolescence, while the role of genetic factors manifests itself at a later age [20]. The role of environmental influences on the initiation of tobacco smoking in adolescents has been confirmed by comparative studies of individual differences in addictive behavior among residents of North America and Australia [19]. An analysis of the key determinants of tobacco smoking among the Ethiopian population found that people living in lowlands are more likely to smoke than those living in highlands [17]. A negative relationship between the average annual air temperature and the relative number of smokers among the population of the European part of Russia has been proven [9].
As universal risk factors for the formation of tobacco dependence among young people, there are both social reasons for the demand for legal psychoactive substances - the possibility of their free acquisition and widespread prevalence in society [1], and psychological prerequisites for initiating their consumption: curiosity [18], low self-esteem of their appearance [ 22], impulsivity, an underdeveloped sense of responsibility, a tendency to outrageous and risk-taking, suggestibility and compliance [5], as well as the influence of the social environment [7]. Previously performed own studies substantiated the influence of psychophysiological status on the development of tobacco dependence in humans. It has been determined that an increased propensity for smoking is associated with a high level of general nonspecific reactivity of the body [10]. A pronounced influence of positive psychoemotional sensations from the first tobacco sample on the risk of developing tobacco dependence has been shown. It was also revealed that the negative attitude of parents to smoking prevents the risk of smoking in children and, on the contrary, the presence of tobacco dependence in parents largely determines the risk of smoking in children [8].
A number of studies substantiated the provoking effect of alcohol consumption on tobacco smoking [21, 24]. Earlier, the mutual reinforcing influence of these addictions was proved, explained by the common factors of their initiation and development [23].
In connection with the available information, it seems expedient, using the example of student youth, as the population group least dependent on the negative influence of social environmental factors, to study the indicators of the psychological prerequisites for the formation of the tendency of residents of the Northern Territories of Russia to smoke.
The goal is to identify psychological markers of the risk of tobacco addiction among students in the European North of Russia.

Methods
The object of the study involved 137 students of state universities in Arkhangelsk (37 men and 100 women of 17-25 years of age), preliminarily selected for a number of criteria: Russians who were born in the city of Arkhangelsk or the Arkhangelsk region, brought up in a complete, socially prosperous family who do not have financial and everyday problems, do not have chronic somatic and neurological diseases. The study was carried out in full-time mode, anonymously, during scheduled training sessions, in November 2020. All work was carried out in accordance with the principles of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, in parts of articles 4 (benefit and harm), 5 (independence and individual responsibility), 6 (consent) and 9 (privacy and confidentiality) [2].
The study used the methods of questionnaire and blank testing. The gender, age, place of birth of the respondents, ethnicity of each of the parents were taken into account. To identify and interpret the experience of consumption of legal surfactants at the prenosological level, the author's testing methods were used, based on a comprehensive accounting of standard indicators (duration, frequency and dose of consumption) for assessing alcohol and tobacco dependence [9].

The psychological status of the study participants was determined by assessing the indicators of the Freiburg multifactorial personality questionnaire [13], accentuations of temperament and character [6], suggestibility, frustration, irritability and resentment [4], adventurousness [12], behavioral, social, professional, economic, political activity and social destructiveness [14]. For all the studied indicators, the normality of the distribution of their values ​​in the sample populations was calculated using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. The results obtained indicated an abnormal distribution of the values ​​of the studied indicators in more than 70% of cases, which served as the basis for the use of nonparametric statistical methods for subsequent data analysis. A comparative assessment of the differences in the manifestation of psychotype indicators in the observation groups was carried out by the Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney method, with the calculation of the arithmetic mean (M) and the arithmetic mean error (m). The statistical significance of differences in qualitative indicators between the observation groups was assessed by Fisher's F-test. To determine the criticality limits of the values ​​of potential markers of psychological risk of tobacco smoking, the calculation of the 95th percentile was undertaken for complexly manifested indicators in the groups of men and women who smoke. The formation of the database of primary information and statistical processing of the research results were carried out in MS Excel 2007 (12.0.6611.1000) (Microsoft), Statistica 6.0 (StatSoftInc., USA).


results
As a result of the study, a list of indicators was determined that characterize the psychotype of smoking and non-smoking men and women - representatives of student youth in the European North of Russia (Fig. 1).


Fig. 1 The severity of psychological indicators in groups of smoking and non-smoking men and women


It was determined that smoking men, relative to men who do not use tobacco, have a statistically significant prevalence of social destructiveness (p = 0.010), masculinity (p = 0.011), as well as a tendency towards a statistically significant prevalence of hyperthymia (p = 0.088) and asociality (p = 0.086). In addition, smokers have a statistically insignificant prevalence of equilibrium (p = 0.108), sociability (p = 0.139) and social activity (p = 0.131). On the contrary, in the group of non-smoking men, suggestibility prevails statistically (p = 0.029).
In the group of women who smoke, behavioral activity (p = 0.010), sociability (p = 0.025), excitability (p = 0.035), exaltation (p = 0.039) prevail statistically, and there is also a tendency towards a statistically significant predominance of social activity (p = 0.080 ) and asociality (p = 0.078), a statistically insignificant prevalence of equilibrium is recorded (p = 0.100).
An additional analysis of the experience of alcohol consumption among smokers and non-smokers of students revealed a number of relationships between the studied addictions (Fig. 2). Among non-smoking men, the most pronounced, statistically significant prevalence of persons who do not consume alcohol was revealed, both relative to men who smoke who do not consume alcohol (F = 2.151, p <0.05) and relative to women who smoke who do not consume alcohol (F = 2.492, p <0.01). It should be noted that all women who smoke consume alcohol, in contrast to men who smoke, among whom 8.4% do not consume alcohol. The level of alcohol consumption among smoking men in most cases is 2-4 times a month, and among smoking women it is evenly distributed between 1 or less times a month, 2-4 times a month and 2 times a week or more often. At the same time, the minimum age of the first conscious sample of alcoholic beverages (12.7 ± 0.43 years) was found in male smokers, which does not statistically differ significantly from the age of the first alcohol sample in the groups of non-smoking men (14.8 ± 0.56 years) , smokers (15.6 ± 0.39 years) and non-smoking women (15.1 ± 0.24 years).



Fig. 2 Relative number (%) of smokers among men and women with different levels of alcohol consumption

To determine the boundaries of the potential criticality of the values ​​of the identified markers of the psychological risk of smoking, the 95th percentile was calculated for the complexly manifested indicators in the groups of men and women who smoke. This procedure provided the differentiation of the continuum of the results obtained into two zones of values ​​that determine the boundaries of the critical values ​​for each indicator of the risk of smoking. The control values ​​of the indicators of the conditionality of the studied addiction correspond to the range from the 95th to the 100th percentile, inclusive. The results of calculating the control values ​​of risk indicators for tobacco smoking are presented in the table


Table
Calculation of control values ​​of tobacco smoking risk indicators for men and women

Table

Calculation of control values of tobacco smoking risk indicators for men and women

 

No.
p.p.

Indicators

Men 

Women

P95

Reference values

P95

Reference values

1

Hyperthymicity

16,3

16-24

-

-

2

Masculinity

7,4

7-15

-

-

3

Exaltation

-

-

19,8

20-24

4

Sociability

-

-

9,3

9-13

5

Behavioral activity

-

-

7,0

7-8

 

The discussion of the results


The analysis of the research results revealed the behavioral components of psychological markers of the risk of tobacco smoking among students. In the group of smoking students, the presence of temperament accentuation (hyperthymicity in men and exaltation in women) was noted, to a greater extent due to the physiological properties of the nervous system and characterized by relative constancy in ontogenesis. In previous theoretical studies, combinations of temperament and character accentuations were correlated with certain forms of deviant, including addictive behavior [15]. It has been determined that in representatives of the hyperthymic type, an increased interest in everything new initiates not only positive social activity, but also provokes destructive actions, accompanied in adolescence by "primary search polydrug addiction." Exalted individuals, having an unpredictable emotional background, often have problems in interacting with society. On the basis of psychoemotional stress, there may be a need for surfactants with an adaptogenic effect. Masculinity among smoking men, apparently, is a catalyst for freedom of choice in any form of human social behavior, including those associated with the demonstration of their independence through smoking. Sociability and behavioral activity in women who smoke can provide an additional, stabilizing effect that compensates for the extreme excitability and impressionability of a person. It is necessary to take into account the presence of alcohol dependence, as a concomitant addiction of tobacco smoking, characteristic of both men and women [23].
The feasibility of using the presented indicators (hyperthymicity and masculinity in men, exaltation, sociability and behavioral activity in women) as psychological markers of the risk of tobacco addiction in student youth in the European North of Russia is justified by a number of points. First, by attracting students as respondents - representatives of the Russian population living in the Arkhangelsk region at least in the second generation. Their economic, social, physical and mental well-being minimizes the risk of exogenous causes of initiation of psychoactive substance use. The age of majority and relative independence, due to the social status of the student, endow the individual with the freedom to choose the consumption of legal psychoactive substances, which, in essence, reflects the person's actual need for smoking. Secondly, the presence of combinations of psychological indicators, characterized by a stable manifestation of their special combinations for each of the four selected observation groups: smoking and non-smoking men, smoking and non-smoking women. Third, the critical severity of indicators that claim to be psychological markers of the risk of tobacco smoking for men and women. The criticality of the severity of these indicators reflects the presence in a person of clearly manifested traits of character and temperament, which determine one or another vector of complex forms of behavior, including those associated with the need for smoking.
The identified risk markers of the formation of tobacco dependence are recommended to be applied in relation to student youth belonging to the indigenous Russian inhabitants of the European North of Russia. This limitation is associated both with the territorial specificity of the manifestation of environmental factors that predetermine the population phenotype and genotype of society, and with the age characteristics of the psychotype of the studied population cohort.
Thus, as a result of experimental studies, for the first time, an analysis of the manifestation of indicators of the psychological status of smoking and non-smoking students, representatives of the Russian population of the European North of Russia, was carried out. The identification of psychological markers of the risk of tobacco smoking in boys and girls permanently residing in the Northern Territories of the Russian Federation has been substantiated, household and financial spheres of life.

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About the authors

Aleksandr B. Mulik

Scientific and Clinical Center of Toxicology named after Academician S.N. Golykov; Military Medical Academy named after S.M Kirov

Author for correspondence.
Email: mulikab@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6472-839X
SPIN-code: 8079-9698

Dr. Sci. (Biol.), professor, leader research associate

Russian Federation, 1 Behtereva street, 192019, Saint Petersburg; Saint Petersburg

Julija A. Shatyr

Volgograd State University

Email: yuliashatyr@gmail.com
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9279-5282
SPIN-code: 2942-6250
Russian Federation, Volgograd

Irina V. Ulesikova

Military Medical Academy named after S.M Kirov

Email: ulesikovairina@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9284-3280
SPIN-code: 9859-6036
Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

Andrej G. Solov'ev

Northern State Medical University

Email: ASoloviev1@yandex.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0350-1359
SPIN-code: 2952-0619
Russian Federation, Arkhangelsk

Nikita O. Nazarov

Clinical Hospital No. 5

Email: naznik86@gmail.com
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0668-4664
SPIN-code: 9126-2809
Russian Federation, Volgograd

Evgenij V. Chernyj

V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University

Email: cherney56@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4996-8277
SPIN-code: 2751-1478
Russian Federation, Simferopol

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Supplementary files

Supplementary Files
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1. Fig. 1. Relative number (%) of smokers among men and women with different levels of alcohol consumption.

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