Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Christina L Duncan

Committee Co-Chair

Cheryl McNeil

Committee Member

Aaron Metzger


Introduction: The use of electronic cigarettes is growing among adolescents residing in the United States, tripling in prevalence over the past few years. Yet, electronic cigarettes are relatively new and there is limited research on parent and youth behavior and information management strategies as they relate to adolescent use of electronic cigarettes. Objective: The current study had a primary goal of utilizing a profile-based analytic procedure (cluster analysis) to explore patterns among these variables and investigate relations to adolescent use of electronic cigarettes. Method: A total of 562 high school students between the ages of 13 and 18 years (M age = 15.95, SD = 1.16) were recruited from four high schools across West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and an adolescent medicine clinic in West Virginia. Students completed a packet of questionnaires in the clinic or school setting. Hierarchical and k-means cluster analyses, chi-squares with post-hoc testing, ANOVA, and MANOVA procedures were used to assess primary aims. Results: The majority of the sample (56.8%) indicated no lifetime use of electronic cigarettes. However, rates of electronic cigarette use (16.7%) and dual cigarette use (22.2%) were consistent with the current literature. Demographic differences emerged between user groups, particularly for grade classification, family status, and parental education level. Cluster analysis results suggested a two-cluster solution, mainly distinguished by levels of adolescent secrecy. A "secretive" cluster indicated high youth secrecy, and moderately low levels of youth disclosure, parental behavioral control, parental knowledge, and parental solicitation; a "less secretive" cluster indicated inverse findings. User group was also significantly related to cluster profile, such that more never users (78%) were found to be in the "less secretive" cluster as compared to electronic cigarette users (11.8%) and dual users (10.2%). In all, results suggest the potential of bidirectional associations between parental and youth behavioral and information management strategies as well as differences in profiles for electronic cigarette and dual users as compared to non-users. These findings have the potential of spurring future research on specific parent and adolescent information strategy usage as clarify the 2015 Surgeon General's Call of Action, particularly in regards to eliciting parent help in reducing electronic cigarette use among adolescents. Results also have the potential to inform youth-focused education and preventative efforts.