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Peer pressure is weaker for kids to quit smoking
Date:6/11/2014

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 areas 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 was linked to 400,000 deaths and results in $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, one with 757 students and the other with 1,673 students. The data was collected at several times throughout the school year, allowing researchers a chance to see how not just behaviors change, but also how networks of friendships evolve over time. The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development supported this work.


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Contact: Matt Swayne
mls29@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

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