Investigation of college student smoking perceptions, behaviors and communication about smoking with smoking friends and family

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Communication plays an important role in health decisions and behaviors. Friends and family exert influence through communication and, when considering smoking, this is particularly salient among those friends and family who smoke. Guided by primary socialization theory and integrated behavioral model, the present study examined the effects of having smoking friends and family on smoking beliefs (e.g. negative consequences, positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement), cultural normative beliefs, pro-smoking injunctive norms, smoking intentions and recent smoking behaviors. Design/methodology/approach: Cross-sectional online survey data were collected from college students (N = 227). Multivariate analysis of covariance and path analysis were performed. Findings: College students who reported having smoking friends were more likely to report higher levels of positive reinforcement, cultural normative beliefs, pro-smoking injunctive norms, positive attitudes, smoking intentions and recent smoking behaviors than those without smoking friends. Frequent communication with smoking friends was significantly related to cultural normative beliefs, pro-smoking injunctive norms, positive attitudes and smoking intentions. The analysis, however, did not yield statistical support for the associations between frequent communication with smoking family and smoking perceptions, norms and behaviors. Originality/value: The present study highlights the vital roles of friends' influence for college students' smoking behaviors. Communication-based intervention can help better equip college students with communication strategies that prevent tobacco use by promoting more effective conversations with friends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)598-613
Number of pages16
JournalHealth Education
Volume121
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 28 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • College students
  • Communication about smoking
  • Smoking behavior
  • Smoking friends and family
  • Smoking perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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