Gender differences in psychosocial determinants of adolescent smoking

J Sch Health. 1991 Mar;61(3):115-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.1991.tb05997.x.


Because of the social meaning smoking has acquired and because of different trends in male and female initiation rates, it is reasonable to suspect that different psychosocial factors predict smoking in teen-age boys and girls. A literature review revealed external pressures such as peer and parental smoking are important for both boys and girls though their influence may be moderated differentially by age and type of smoking behavior assessed. Some data support the hypothesis that female smoking is associated with self-confidence, social experience, and rebellion, whereas male smoking is associated with social insecurity. Overall, group differences such as gender and socioeconomic status are well-documented in terms of smoking prevalence but underexplored in the area of psychosocial predictors. In this review, gender differences have been documented with sufficient frequency to warrant further attention to develop gender specific components of smoking prevention programs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Attitude
  • Culture
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Peer Group
  • Risk-Taking
  • School Health Services
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Smoking* / epidemiology
  • Smoking* / psychology
  • Social Behavior
  • Social Class