Role of the self-image and smoker stereotype in smoking onset during early adolescence: a longitudinal study

Health Psychol. 1996 Nov;15(6):494-7. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.15.6.494.


The present study utilized a longitudinal design to assess whether self-consistency or self-enhancement motives are predictive of future smoking onset. Participants were 1,222 nonsmoking 5th through 8th graders who were followed into the next academic year. The results showed that teens who were above the median in similarity between their self-image and smoker stereotype on coolness, sociability, and intelligence were almost twice as likely to show smoking onset at the 2nd measurement. This is supportive of a self-consistency motive for adolescent smoking. The results of this study provide an important extension to previous cross-sectional research in this area.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Self Concept*
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Social Behavior
  • Stereotyping*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires