Ways to say no: refusal skill strategies among urban adolescents

Am J Health Behav. May-Jun 2006;30(3):227-36. doi: 10.5555/ajhb.2006.30.3.227.


Objectives: To examine associations among adolescents' generated verbal strategies (ie, Simple No, Declarative Statements, Excuse, Alternatives) and underlying nonverbal assertiveness in 2 refusal situations: smoking and shoplifting.

Methods: Sixth-grade urban minority students (N = 454) participated in videotaped role-play assessments of peer refusal skills.

Results: Differences were found by situation with students demonstrating greater use of Simple No in the smoking refusal and Alternatives in the shoplifting refusal. Nonverbal assertiveness was similar across situations and was associated with Declarative Statements, but only in the smoking refusal.

Conclusions: Prevention programs should tailor refusal skills practice to cover multiple situations.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Assertiveness*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Minority Groups / psychology*
  • Peer Group*
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Role Playing
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Social Conformity*
  • Theft / prevention & control
  • Theft / psychology
  • Urban Population*