Transition through stages of smoking: The effect of gender and self- concept on adolescent smoking behavior

William Thornton, Graham A. Douglas, Stephen J. Houghton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To determine whether self-concept, gender, and age are significant factors in an adolescent's transition through stages of smoking to regular smoking. Methods: A questionnaire composed of 29 items (nine questions pertaining to smoking behavior and 20 to four self-concept variables: physical, family, social, and peer self-concept) was administered to 368 randomly selected high school adolescents (188 males and 180 females) aged 12-17 years during regular contact (roll call) time. Results: Overall, 40.5% of the sample had tried tobacco (excluding chewing tobacco) (42.8% of females and 38.3% of males). Although prevalence of smoking varied according to the stage of smoking, it increased with age. With reference to self- concept, Scheffe post hoc contrasts revealed a statistically significant difference between physical self-concept and the remaining measures of self- concept (peer, family, and social) and at each stage of smoking. The effect for male students was less than for females. Conclusion: Programs aimed at prevention and intervention should incorporate strategies which are commensurate with female lifestyles and the more positive aspects that individuals might experience on quitting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-289
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1999


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