The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4096.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - Board 3

Abstract #65221

Psychosocial factors associated with tobacco use intentions among youth: Examining the utility of the theory of planned behavior

Brian N. Smith, PhD1, Ilene S. Speizer, PhD2, Karen S. Mitchell, BS1, Melanie K. Bean, BA1, and Elizabeth Fries, PhD1. (1) Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, 808 W. Franklin St., P.O. Box 842018, Richmond, VA 23284-2018, 804-828-0294,, (2) Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Virginia Commonwealth University, P.O. Box 980212, Richmond, VA 23298

Smoking represents an important source of disease and poor health, as tobacco use is cited as the most preventable cause of death in the United States. Most adult smokers began smoking during adolescence, making tobacco prevention among youth an especially important mission in health research. Over 15,000 youth in Virginia were administered an instrument designed as part of a comprehensive assessment of tobacco use behaviors and predictors. Guided by the theory of planned behavior, the focus of the present research was to examine the roles of attitudes, subjective norms (and other normative factors), and perceived behavioral control in intentions to smoke. Consistent with the modelís predictions, these variables were all found to be associated with behavioral intentions regarding smoking. A particularly notable finding was the robust relationship between the number of participantsí friends who smoke and adolescentsí intentions to smoke. Results are discussed in terms of building on the subjective norm construct in the TPB, as well as integrating the research with a self-categorization / social identify framework, as the impact of normative influence has been a central theme among these models. Indeed, social influence processes (e.g., peer behaviors and subjective norms) play a large role in behavioral decision making, particularly in adolescence. And while some recent research has suggested that focusing solely on such social pressures may represent too narrow of a focus, incorporating these processes within a larger framework promises to be the theoretical approach with the most utility. Implications for intervention building and further research are discussed.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Prevention, Tobacco Control

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

New Findings in Prevention Research Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA