The Effects of Smoking on Adolescent Behavior and Their Ability to Perform Well in School James Grimes Eastern Kentucky University Abstract There is a considerable body of empirical research that has identified adolescent peer relationships as a primary factor involved in adolescent cigarette smoking. Despite this large research base, many questions remain unanswered about the mechanisms by which peers affect youths’ smoking behavior. Understanding these processes of influence is the key to the development of prevention and intervention programs designed to address adolescent smoking as a significant public health concern.
In this paper, theoretical frameworks and empirical findings are reviewed critically which inform the current state of knowledge regarding peer influences on teenage smoking. Specifically, social learning theory, primary socialization theory, social identity theory and social network theory are discussed. Empirical findings regarding peer influence and selection, as well as multiple reference points in adolescent friendships, including best friendships, romantic relationships, peer groups and social crowds, are also reviewed.
Review of this work reveals the contribution that peers have in adolescents’ use of tobacco, in some cases promoting use, and in other cases deterring it. The Effects of Smoking on Adolescent Behavior and Their Ability to Perform Well in School Introduction Smoking by adolescents is a social activity and subject to peer pressure. Peers may offer information on where to buy cigarettes and even how to smoke them. Teenagers are often evaluated by the peers as to how cool he or she may be.
Popular culture dictates an association between smoking and being a cool kid as much as wearing the right clothes, having a certain haircut, and being friends with the right people. In a since, smoking is a way of reflecting an identity. Knowing this one must ask is smoking by adolescents is really an act they wish to perform. Whether you smoke or not can determine who your friends may be. Kobus (2003) suggests that non smokers tend to befriend non smokers and smokers tend to befriend smokers. Non smokers that do become friends with smokers run a much higher risk at becoming a smoker themselves.
Hypothesis In this study, I believe that adolescent who smoke will most likely have friends who smoke. I believe this study will show that 25% of the teenagers polled will be smokers and 80% of them will be friends with other smokers. It will also prove that the non smokers will be less likely to be friends with smokers. Literature Review Kobus (2003) suggests that peer relationships are the primary factor involved in cigarette smoking. Specifically, social learning theory, primary socialization theory, social identity theory and social network theory are discussed.
Empirical findings regarding peer influence and selection, as well as multiple reference points in adolescent friendships, including best friendships, romantic relationships, peer groups and social crowds, are also reviewed. Patton, Hibbert, Rosier, Carlin, Caust, and Bowes (1996) state that an association of smoking with depression and anxiety has been documented in adult smokers. Subjects reporting high levels of depression and anxiety were twice as likely to be smokers after the potential confounders of year level; sex, alcohol use, and parental smoking were controlled for.
Regular smokers were almost twice as likely as occasional smokers to report high levels of depression and anxiety. In trying to determine whether smoking can influence a student’s school performance, Te-wei, Zihua, and Keeler (1998) report there’s no direct causation from smoking to school performance, but smoking might have an indirect effect, leading to other delinquency behaviors or drug abuse. These behaviors, in turn, could lead to poor school performance. However, the main argument against this hypothesis is that smoking is a relatively common behavior relative to other factors that lead to antisocial behaviors.
Methodology Population The population I used in this study of sophomore students in Ms. Powell’s math classes at McCreary Central High. I posted a survey to a web site and have asked all that would to take the survey. Instruments I started my survey by asking a yes or no question: “Do you smoke? ” Then I asked all the non smokers the following 5 questions: 1. Are you male or female? 2. Does either of your parents smoke? 3. Do you feel pressure from your friends to smoke? 4. Would you have a best friend that smokes? 5. What is your average grade in school? Then I asked all smokers the following questions: 1.
Are you male or female? 2. Does either of your parents smoke? 3. Do you pressure your friends to smoke? 4. Does your best friend smoke? 5. What is your average grade in school? Data Analysis At the time of writing this draft I have not collected any data yet. I will add this on my final draft. Discussion At the time I am writing the first draft I haven’t had enough time to collect the data for my paper. I have posted my questions using survey monkey to a web page at McCreary Central High where my wife teaches. She is going to ask student from her class to take the survey. So far I have only had 4 people take the survey.
This is hardly enough to come to any conclusions. Conclusions In Conclusion, I plan on collecting the date from my surveys to analyze. Kobus (2003) concludes that adolescent peer relationships contribute to adolescent cigarette smoking. Youth who are friends with smokers have been found to be more likely to smoke themselves than those with only nonsmokers as friends. Best friends, romantic partners, peer groups and social crowds all have been found to contribute to the smoking or non-smoking behavior of teenagers. In some cases, peer influences promote smoking and, in other cases, they deter it.
The mechanisms of peer influence appear to be more covert and subtle than is thought commonly. That is, rather than be the result of direct and coercive pressures, decisions regarding smoking behavior have been found to reflect predetermined choices about fitting in, social approval, popularity and autonomy. Parents and the media have also been found to contribute to the smoking or non-smoking of youth.
References Akers, R. L. , Massey, J. , Clarke, W. , ;amp; Lauer, R. M. (1983). Are Self-Reports of Adolescent Deviance Valid? Biochemical Measures, Randomized Response, and the Bogus Pipeline in Smoking Behavior. Social Forces, 62(1), 234-251. Freinkel, S. , Fuerst, M. L. , ;amp; Krieger, E. B. (1999). Teen Smoking: The Longest Drag. Health (Time Inc. Health), 13(6), 18. Kobus, K. (2003). Peers and adolescent smoking. Addiction, 9837-55. doi:10. 1046/j. 1360-0443. 98. s1. 4. x Patton, G. C. , Hibbert, M. , Rosier, M. J. , Carlin, J. B. , Caust, J. , ;amp; Bowes, G. (1996). Is Smoking Associated with Depression and Anxiety in Teenagers?. American Journal Of Public Health, 86(2), 225. Te-wei, H. , Zihua, L. , ;amp; Keeler, T. E. (1998). Teenage Smoking, Attempts to Quit, and School Performance. American Journal Of Public Health, 88(6), 940-943.
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