Young people's representations of others' views of smoking: is there a link with smoking behaviour?

J Adolesc. 1997 Feb;20(1):57-70. doi: 10.1006/jado.1996.0064.


This paper reports a large-scale survey (n = 1985) of 9-12-year-olds' representations of parents' and friend's views about the nature of smoking. Taking the perspective of Social Representations theory, consensual representations of respondents' views of significant others are identified using cluster analysis without reference to smoking behaviour. Resulting clusters of individuals map on to self-reported behavioural groups at above chance level. These relationships indicate young smokers have access to sets of beliefs about others' smoking views that may differ systematically from those available to nonsmokers. This suggests an additional social psychological mechanism that may be implicated in early onset of smoking in adolescence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cluster Analysis
  • England
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Peer Group*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Social Perception*