Navigation Links
Peer influence leads teens to start, stop smoking -- but effect is stronger for starting
Date:6/11/2014

WASHINGTON, DC, June 11, 2014 Adolescents tend to be more powerful in influencing their friends to start smoking than in helping them to quit, according to sociologists.

In a study of adolescent friendship networks and smoking over time, the researchers found that friends exert influence on their peers to both start and quit smoking, but the influence to start is stronger.

"What we found is that social influence matters it leads nonsmoking friends into smoking and nonsmoking friends can turn smoking friends into nonsmokers," said Steven Haas, an associate professor of sociology and demography at Pennsylvania State University. "However, the impact is asymmetrical the tendency for adolescents to follow their friends into smoking is stronger."

Haas, who co-authored the study with David Schaefer, an associate professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University, said there are a number of reasons why peer influence to start smoking is stronger than peer influence to quit.

"In order to become a smoker, kids need to know how to smoke, they need to know where to buy cigarettes and how to smoke without being caught, which are all things they can learn from their friends who smoke," said Haas. "But, friends are unlikely to be able to provide the type resources needed to help them quit smoking."

Nonsmoking friends do not have access to nicotine replacement products or organized cessation programs to help their friends quit, according to the researchers, who report their findings in the June issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

"Most often, adolescents will try to either quit cold turkey, or by gradually reducing their smoking and these are the least successful ways to quit," said Haas.

While most current adolescent smoking prevention programs are aimed at building resistance to peer pressure, Haas said school nurses and health professionals may be able to design programs that use peer pressure to positively influence behavior. For example, they could design programs to help nonsmoking adolescents help their smoking friends.

"We have to have a more nuanced view of influence," said Haas. "In reality, kids aren't all bad or all good and some friends who may not be a good influence in one area may actually be a positive influence in other areas."

The research may also apply to other aspects of adolescent behavior.

"This may apply well beyond smoking," said Haas. "There may be similar patterns in adolescent drinking, drug use, sex, and delinquency."

Even though smoking rates have declined, adolescent smoking remains a serious problem that has both health and economic costs. From 2000 to 2004, smoking and second-hand exposure to cigarettes were linked to 400,000 deaths, and smoking results in nearly $100 billion in lost productivity each year, according to the researchers.

The researchers used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Their sample data set included two high schools, with 757 and 1,673 student respondents, respectively. The data was collected at several times throughout the school year, giving researchers a chance to see not only how behaviors change, but also how networks of friendships evolve over time.


'/>"/>

Contact: Daniel Fowler
pubinfo@asanet.org
202-527-7885
American Sociological Association
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New software tool identifies genetic mutations that influence disease risk
2. Womens contraceptive use influenced by contraception education and moral attitudes
3. Access to electronic health records may influence care
4. Genetic, environmental influences equally important risk for autism spectrum disorder
5. Early-Life Influences on Obesity: From Pre-Conception to Adolescence
6. Surgeons and health care settings influence type of breast cancer surgery women undergo
7. $2.3M study to examine how neighborhoods influence child maltreatment rates
8. Clinical trial success influenced by biomarker- and receptor-targeted therapies in NSCLC
9. Social norms strongly influence vaccination decisions and the spread of disease
10. Political values influence peoples response to health disparities messages
11. Gender influences symptoms of genetic disorder
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Beleza Medspa has initiated ... regulations. This is the first time that Coolsculpting is being used for for ... six months to ensure they meet the prescribed body-fat standard, measured by the circumference-based ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... , ... With a team of certified experts, Validation Center ... its GMP accreditation, Validation Center is also a registered authority of the international ... , Validation Center is ISO17025 accredited and only offers its clients the latest ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... thousands of defective respirators, according to court documents and SEC filings. A ... and Becky Tyler v. American Optical Corporation, Case No. BC588866, Los Angeles County, ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... On Memorial Day, Hope For Heroes ... in military battle for the country. The nonprofit Hope For Heroes partnered with ... that empower independence for disabled military veterans, as well as police, firemen, and EMS ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... , ... MadgeTech will be showcasing its line of data logging products ... the MadgeTech headquarters. With products sold in more than 100 countries around the world, ... , In 2012, NASA strategically set up 17 RHTemp101A MadgeTech data loggers ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Niederländische Chirurgen ... die es Ärzten erlaubt, ihre Expertise weltweit zu ... kombiniert Live Streaming mit einer Instant-Messaging-Funktion und der ... Mediziner in Europa, Afrika, Asien und den ... die Plattform registriert. Information und Weiterbildung   ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016  Diana Russell suffers from ... organs from the inside out.  This disease has put ... on her children and grandchildren to leave her home.  ... Diana,s family cannot haul the wheelchair.  So if there ... car, and Diana is left to wait for the ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... -- Joe Marziani has joined VMS BioMarketing as senior vice president of sales, announced ... role, Marziani will lead the company,s business development and sales team, exploring new opportunities ... Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160523/371089 ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: