Using Peer Injunctive Norms to Predict Early Adolescent Cigarette Smoking Intentions

J Appl Soc Psychol. 2013 Jun;43(Suppl 1):E124-E131. doi: 10.1111/jasp.12080.


The present study investigated the importance of the perceived injunctive norm to predict early adolescent cigarette smoking intentions. A total of 271 6th graders completed a survey that included perceived prevalence of friend smoking (descriptive norm), perceptions of friends' disapproval of smoking (injunctive norm), and future smoking intentions. Participants also listed their five best friends, in which the actual injunctive norm was calculated. Results showed that smoking intentions were significantly correlated with the perceived injunctive norm but not with the actual injunctive norm. Secondly, the perceived injunctive norm predicted an additional 3.4% of variance in smoking intentions above and beyond the perceived descriptive norm. These results demonstrate the importance of the perceived injunctive norm in predicting early adolescent smoking intentions.

Keywords: adolescent cigarette smoking; normative social influence; social norms.