Gender, weight concerns, and adolescent smoking

J Addict Dis. 2001;20(2):5-14. doi: 10.1300/J069v20n02_02.


This study examined the beliefs that adolescents' hold regarding smoking and weight. In particular, this study examined the relationship between smoking status and self-perceptions of body weight. In addition, it examined gender and age differences in adolescent male and female smokers' beliefs about smoking and weight control. Analyses were conducted on the telephone interview responses of 1,200 adolescent smokers and nonsmokers between the ages of 12 and 17. Chi-square analyses were utilized for univariate comparisons, and logistic regression for multivariate comparisons. Results revealed gender and age differences in perceptions of body weight. In addition, female smokers were more likely than male smokers to adhere to the belief that smoking controlled weight. While no relationship was observed between males' perceived weight and their smoking status, females who perceived themselves to be either overweight or underweight were more likely to smoke. Findings suggest a gender bias in processing social/environmental cues linking smoking and weight control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Body Image*
  • Body Weight*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Distribution
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires