Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
The present study sought to examine relations between different stages of adolescent cigarette smoking and the variables of impulsivity (delay and probability discounting) and peer friend smoking behavior. Participants were 75 adolescents (40 females) between 14 and 16 years of age. Participants were categorized according to the following patterns of smoking behavior: "never smokers" (n = 19; 10 females) were those who had not tried even one cigarette; "triers" (n = 17; 9 females) were those who had recently tried cigarettes (M = 3.76 cigarettes) for the first time; "past experimenters" (n = 20; 12 females) were those who had tried cigarettes 3.75 cigarettes) in the past but had not smoked any in the six months prior to data collection; and "current smokers" (n = 19; 9 females) were those who had smoked every week (M = 46.42 cigarettes per week) for the six months prior to data collection. It was hypothesized that the current smoker group would be more impulsive than the never smoker and past experimenter groups, which would match similar research done with adult smokers. Also, it was hypothesized that peer friend smoking behavior would match participant smoking behavior, so that participants who were smoking at the time of data collection (current smokers and triers) would report having more friends who smoke than those participants who were not smoking (never smokers and past experimenters). Results revealed that the trier group was significantly more impulsive than the never smoker group. There were no other significant group differences in impulsivity. Also, current smokers reported having more friends who smoked than did past experimenters and never smokers. Inversely, never smokers reported having fewer friends who smoked than triers and current smokers. However, participants from the trier and past experimenter groups did not differ in number of friends who smoked. The results suggest that impulsivity may be related more to adolescents trying cigarettes than to their becoming regular smokers. Also, peer friend smoking appears to be more related to established patterns of smoking or nonsmoking than to initially trying cigarettes. From these findings, suggestions are made for both preventive and cessation types of adolescent smoking intervention programs.
Reynolds, Brady, "Impulsivity and friends who smoke as predictors of adolescent smoking" (2002). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 1688.