I describe and provide links for my first-authored publications and some co-authored publications. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you want a copy of an article (at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Gagné T, Frohlich KL, Quesnel-Vallée A. The role of education and other transition milestones in the progression of social inequalities in cigarette smoking between the ages of 18 and 25: evidence from the Canadian National Population Health Survey. Addictive Behaviors. Accepted May 2020.
This is the last of the three core papers to come out of my PhD thesis. Using longitudinal data from the National Population Health Survey, I examined the relationship between smoking and the five young adult milestones (educational attainment, economic activity, cohabitation with parents, relationship status, and parenthood) at four repeated points between the ages of 18-19 and 24-25 in 1,243 young adults across Canada. I found that occasional smoking was predicted only by relationship status (i.e., single young adults being much more likely to smoke occasionally) whereas daily smoking was predicted by all five milestones. Like in my second thesis paper, I found that many of these characteristics had a different influence with age. For instance, living without parents and with children was a clear risk factor at ages 18-19, but was no longer associated with smoking by the ages of 22-23. Importantly, we also found that the association between relationship status and smoking varied with age and education: being in a committed relationship was a risk factor for daily smoking at ages 18-19 whereas it became a protective factor towards ages 24-25, but only among who completed post-secondary education. These findings add new evidence on the processes through which social inequalities in smoking progress during young adulthood, and on the importance of this life period on the progression of health inequalities over the life course.
This is the first paper to come out of my fellowship at UCL. I was always interested in the unintended consequences of health inequalities, and was blown away when reading this paper on the consequences of White-Black inequalities in mortality and its role in U.S. elections by Javier Rodriguez during my PhD. Therefore, I built on the strengths of the 1958 and 1970 British birth cohorts to examine the role of self-rated health and limitations in daily activities on voting in general elections. I found that self-rated health was a robust and relatively strong predictor of having voted in the last general election, but also that this association was likely to vary over the life-course and in keeping with the election context.
Gagné T, Quesnel-Vallée A, Frohlich KL. Considering the Age-Graded Nature of Associations Between Socioeconomic Characteristics and Smoking During the Transition Towards Adulthood. Preventive Medicine. 2019; 123: 262-269.
This paper represents the second of three core papers in my PhD thesis. Using data from the Montreal-based Interdisciplinary Study of Inequalities in Smoking, I compared how social characteristics were associated with cigarette smoking in different age groups between the ages of 18-19 and 24-25. Examining associations at different ages, I found that the association of most characteristics with smoking strongly varied with age, with some being important at the ages of 18-19 (e.g., having a relatively high income) and others later at the ages of 24-25 (e.g., having a university degree). The association of some characteristics, such as leaving your parents and living with a partner, completely reversed with age (e.g., risk factors at ages 18-19 and protective factors at ages 24-25).
Gagné T, Lee JGL, Steinmetz-Wood M, Frohlich KL. A field coming of age? A methodological systematic review of studies on social inequalities in smoking among young adults. Tobacco Control. 2019; 28(5): 566-573.
This paper represents the first of three core papers in my PhD thesis. In my thesis, I proposed that the social conditions of young adults could be understood through: 1) the economic, social, and cultural resources that they accumulated and could access from their environment and 2) their transition experiences across education, employment, family, and housing. I argued that most studies examining social inequalities in smoking among young adults focussed on educational attainment, and failed to recognise the other social dimensions linked to the risk of smoking. I decided to support this argument with a systematic review describing the methods used to examine social inequalities in smoking in this age group. My findings supported my critique, and highlighted that we still know relatively little about the roles of employment, income, and parental resources in the progression of inequalities in smoking during young adulthood.
Gagné T, Omorou AY, Kivitz J, Alla F, Minary L. Profil socioéconomique et tabagisme chez les adolescents en Centre de Formation des Apprentis. Revue d’Épidémiologie et Santé Publique. 2018; 66(6): 375-383.
This paper was done in a 2017 internship with Dr. Laetitia Minary at the French Université de Lorraine. We explored the distribution of smoking and smoking-related characteristics in a pilot sample of 200-250 French youth in vocational training. The goal was to use this pilot sample to explore mechanisms to consider for an upcoming smoking cessation intervention (which ended up never seeing the day, but things like that happen in research!). We found that while smoking was not associated with parental education in the sample, young smokers from socially disadvantaged backgrounds were more likely to report wanting to quit and less likely to feel like they could quit. The study had some clear methodological limitations, but it offered some new evidence to argue that, even in a “homogeneous” group such as youth in vocational training, we have to consider socioeconomic differences when designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions.
Gagné T, Ghenadenik AE. Rethinking the relationship between socio-economic status and health: challenging how socio-economic status is currently used in health inequality research. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health. 2018; 46(1): 53-56.
This commentary was published in response to an excellent article by Oversveen and colleagues on the value of sociological theory for the study of health inequalities. I proposed that we need to develop explicit tools to push new authors to systematically discuss: 1) the social theories they use to support their study of social differences in health outcomes and 2) the theoretical reasons behind their choice of socioeconomic measures.
Steinmetz-Wood M, Gagné T, Sylvestre MP, Frohlich KL. Do social characteristics influence smoking uptake and cessation during young adulthood? International Journal of Public Health. 2018; 63(1): 115-123.
I helped Madeline Steinmetz-Wood publish this paper between the end of her MSc and the start of her PhD (in Geography at McGill University). This work represented an early exploration of predictors associated with change in smoking in the Montreal-based Interdisciplinary Study of Inequalities in Smoking (a two-year cohort of +/- 1,450 young adults). She examined whether income, education, financial difficulties, employment, and having friends who smoke were each associated with changes in smoking over the two-year follow-up. She found that only having friends who smoked was associated with a change (those with more friends who smoked were less likely to quit smoking). In retrospect, I would have loved to also explore: 1) age-based differences (e.g., what happens if we only look at those who were 18-19 or 24-25 at baseline) and 2) other characteristics defining young adults’ social circumstances (such as family and housing arrangements with parents and partners).
This paper was developed towards the end of my MSc as I was realizing that I would not be able to publish my MSc thesis (lackluster) results. I had been exploring data about the preferred sources of health information of young adult participants in the Interdisciplinary Study of Inequalities in Smoking study. I found that there were almost no studies that considered beyond single sources of information how young adults could interact with multiple sources of information based on their needs and resources. Following the advice of Pr. Julie Vallée, a French health geographer, I explored patterns between these preferred sources using latent class analysis and developed a much nuanced portrait of how young adults prefer to access health information. I also found that these patterns varied by social background, with socially disadvantaged young adults not only less likely to seek health professionals, but also their parents.
Received the Ilona Kickbusch Award for Best Article by an Early Career Research
This paper represents the second publication to come out from my 2016 internship with the great Gerry Veenstra, Professor of Sociology at UBC. Building on an earlier project and intersectionality theory, Gerry proposed to test if the association between income and two outcomes – diabetes and hypertension – varied across gender and Black/White ethnic status in Canada. Pooling almost 500,000 observations from the Canadian Community Health Survey, we found that the association of income with these two health varied across both of these factors (i.e., a triple interaction). We found that, whereas lower income provided a similar disadvantage for White men and women, it provided no disadvantage for Black men and a much greater disadvantage among Black women. Given the fact that Black women are more likely to experience low income than other social groups, this provided new evidence of the strength of intersectionality theory and the need to tackle racial inequalities in health in Canada.
This relatively small paper represents the third publication to come out of my (very productive) internship with Gerry Veenstra in 2016. As I was working on trends in smoking initiation using data from the largest health surveillance dataset in Canada (see below), I was baffled to find that there were notable discrepancies in the estimation of smoking prevalence across the Canadian datasets used to examine this. After discussing with Health Canada staff and tobacco control experts, I wrote this short commentary to discuss how we estimated smoking prevalence and what were the main limitations associated with the main datasets used to do this in Canada.
Gagné T, Veenstra G. Trends in smoking initiation in Canada: Does non-inclusion of young adults in tobacco control strategies represent a missed opportunity? Canadian Journal of Public Health. 2017; 108(1): e14-e20
This paper is the first and core paper to come out of my 2016 internship with Gerry Veenstra at UBC. In 2016, there was simply no evidence on trends in smoking initiation, and whether it was becoming more common during young adulthood, in Canada. I compared trends in the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) between 2001 and 2013 and found that: 1) initiation rates during young adulthood (18-25) had not decreased over these 12 years and were now relatively high; 2) initiation rates during youth (<18) significantly decreased, except among youth who dropped out of high school where initiation did not change at all. Since its publication, this paper was discussed in the Journal de Montréal, the Journal de Québec, and the Info-Tabac newsletter produced by the Canadian Cancer Society. It was nominated for the best student presentation at the 2016 Canadian Public Health Association conference. I was also invited to present these findings at the largest public health conference in Quebec, the Journées Annuelles de Santé Publique, in December 2016.
Frohlich KL, Shareck M, Vallée J, Abel T, Agouri R, Cantinotti M, Daniel M, Dassa C, Datta G, Gagné T, Leclerc BS, Kestens Y, O’Loughlin J, Potvin L. Cohort Profile: The Interdisciplinary Study of Inequalities in Smoking (ISIS). International Journal of Epidemiology. 2017; 46(2): e4.
Gagné T, Ghenadenik A, Shareck M, Frohlich KL. Expected or completed? Comparing two measures of education and their relationship with social inequalities in health among young adults. Social Indicators Research. 2016; 135(2): 549-562.
Gagné T, Agouri R, Cantinotti M, Boubaker A, Frohlich KL. How important are paper copies of questionnaires? Testing invitation modes when studying social inequalities in smoking among young adults. International Journal of Public Health. 2014; 59(1): 207-210.