The natural history of cigarette smoking and young adult social roles

J Health Soc Behav. 1992 Dec;33(4):328-47.


The relation between cigarette smoking (in adolescence and adulthood) and the occupancy of conventional adult social roles was investigated in the current study. Two alternative predictions for this relation were examined--"role incompatibility" (which predicts a negative relation between adolescent smoking and adult role occupancy) and "pseudomaturity" (which predicts a positive relation between adolescent smoking and adult role occupancy). Processes of role selection and role socialization were examined using data from a longitudinal study of smoking from adolescence to young adulthood. Both pseudomaturity and role incompatibility predictions found some support in the data, and the two views could be reconciled by considering the student role as the key transition into other adult statuses. Implications for the study of social roles and substance use are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Midwestern United States / epidemiology
  • Parents / education
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Role*
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Socialization*