PSYA4- explanations for smoking

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  • explanations for smoking
    • there are 1.1billion smokers worldwide
    • smoking kills 4 million people a year
      • there are 3000 chemical companants in a cigarette but nicotine is the addictive ingredient
    • smokers who give up smoking have a 70% relapse rate in the first 3 months after stopping- this is due to unpleasant withdrawal effects
    • nicotine has positive reinforcement effects by activating the mesolimbic pathway
    • biological factors
      • shields- looked at 42 twins reared apart. nine pairs were discordant for smoking behaviour so genes may play a part
    • social factors
      • most smokers begin the habit in childhood or adolesence
        • operant conditioning traditionally states that a child starts smoking to gain powerful peer approval
          • however smoking if often very unpleasant the first time around and operant conditioning cannot explain why children persist
        • social learning theory states that children imitate the behaviour of role models;
          • a child observes their role model smoking and enjoying it and thus persevere with smoking with the expectation that they will enjoy it soon
      • parents also have an influence on smoking beheviour
        • Lader and Matheson- children are twice as likely to start smoking if their parents smoke
        • Murray et al- in contrast a child is 7 times less likely to smoke if their parents are firmly against smoking
      • peer pressure is thought to have a huge influence on smoking behaviour or even bullying if the behaviour is not met
        • however
          • Michell and west- adolescents are les susceptible to peer pressure. some young people show  a readiness for smoking and it is only on this group that the peer pressure has an effect
            • young people who have decided they do not want to smoke try to avoid situations where smoking is associated and choose friends who think in the same way
              • thus health campaigns have to focus more on making smoking appear uncool. not on resisting peer pressure
    • individual differences
      • USA studies have found strong links between smoking and certain characteristics
        • Mosbach and Lenenthal- these characteristics are poor school performance, other risk taking behaviour, low self esteem
    • cognitive factors
      • theory of planned behaviour and theory of reasoned action
        • Connor et al- investigated the role of planned behaviour in 675 11-12 year olds. they tested them with various baseline measures and 9 months later tested the carbon monoxide in their breath. they found that behavioural intentions were useful predictors of smoking behaviour
        • Guo et al- tested 14000+ Chinese school children with TRA and TPB measures and found both were useful predictors of smoking behaviour
  • Parrott- smoking can increase levels of stress, not decrease like everyone thinks
    • there are 1.1billion smokers worldwide
    • smoking has a more subtle effect on the brain compared to other psychoactive drugs
  • a child observes their role model smoking and enjoying it and thus persevere with smoking with the expectation that they will enjoy it soon
  • Michell and west- adolescents are les susceptible to peer pressure. some young people show  a readiness for smoking and it is only on this group that the peer pressure has an effect
    • young people who have decided they do not want to smoke try to avoid situations where smoking is associated and choose friends who think in the same way
      • thus health campaigns have to focus more on making smoking appear uncool. not on resisting peer pressure

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