Reasons for smoking or not smoking in early adolescence

Addict Behav. 1993 May-Jun;18(3):321-9. doi: 10.1016/0306-4603(93)90033-6.


Previous studies of smokers' and nonsmokers' reasons have not compared their reasons for smoking and their reasons for not smoking, or examined the extent of change or stability in these reasons over time. We examined reasons for smoking and not smoking in a large sample of 13-year-olds from the general population. Factor structures of reasons differed according to whether adolescents were smokers or nonsmokers. Nonsmokers were found to be less discriminating than smokers about the reasons for smoking. Smokers and nonsmokers tended to show more agreement about the reasons for not smoking. Recency of smoking was differentially related to the factors for smoking and the factors for not smoking. "Image" was a more important reason for smoking at age 11 than at age 13. "Friends" as a reason for smoking showed a small degree of consistency across age, whereas reasons involving relaxation and pleasure showed a relatively higher degree of consistency. Health, as a reason not to smoke, showed only a small degree of consistency, while social context, effects and access were moderately consistent as reasons not to smoke at ages 11 and 13.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Age Factors
  • Attitude*
  • Child
  • Child Development
  • Child, Preschool
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Self Concept
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires