Peer influence in adolescent cigarette smoking

Addict Behav. 1990;15(3):247-55. doi: 10.1016/0306-4603(90)90067-8.


A structural model relating actual and perceived peer smoking to perceived peer pressure and to adolescent cigarette smoking was developed and replicated in two independent subsamples of the data. Data was gathered from 2334 suburban adolescents in grades 8 and 11 in a large metropolitan area. Four dimensions of peer pressure were discovered and were found to relate differentially to adolescent smoking. The major findings were that pathways representing modeling and normative pressure to smoke had roughly equal impact on adolescent smoking. Direct pressure to smoke cigarettes did not have a significant path to adolescent smoking. Adolescents reported low levels of both normative and direct pressure to smoke cigarettes. Smoking adolescents appear to see the peer group, not as encouraging them to smoke, but as not providing any discouragement for smoking. Finally, adolescents who were experimenting with smoking or were smokers overestimated the amount of smoking by their best friends.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imitative Behavior*
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Models, Statistical
  • Peer Group*
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Social Facilitation*