Explanations for smoking


social factors

Most smokers develop the habbit in early adolesence-

operant conditioning traditionally states that children start smoking to gain powerfull peer approval- however smoking is often very unpleasent first time around

Michell and West however state that children develop a readiness for smoking and only associate themselves with peers that share that view, so peer pressure has less of an influence

Lader and Matheson- children are 2x as likely to start smoking if their parents smoke

Murray et al- however if their parents hold strong anti-smoking beliefs the child is 7x less likely to start smoking

Social learning theory states that children observe role models smoking and enjoying it so they continue with the expectation for it to become enjoyable

winett et al-  these role models are usually more influential if they share some characteristics or are of the same status

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Cognitive factors

Theory of planned behaviour and Theory of reasoned action

Connor et al- investigated the role of planned behviour in 675 11-12 year olds using various baseline measures- 9 months later they measured the caron monoxide in their breath and found that TPB was a good indicator of later smoking behaviour

Guo et al- 14000 chinese school children- TPB and TRA were both useful indicators of later smoking behaviour

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Individual differences

USA studies have found strong links between smoking and certain charactersistics

Mosbach and lenenthal- these are...

-poor school performance

-other risk taking behaviour

-low self esteem

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Biological factors

Shields looked at 42 twin pairs reared apart- only 9 pairs were discordant for smoking behaviour so genes must play a part

nicotine has positive reinforcement effects by activating the mesolimbic dopamine pathway

smokers who give up smoking have a 70% relapse rate in the first 3 months due to unpleasent withdrawal effects

Hilts comapred nicotine to 5 other psychoactive drugs and found it highest in terms of dependence but lowest in intoxiction

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