Attitudes and Smoking Behaviour

Essay by lenoreoUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, March 2004

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While the result of research is important, one of the critical aspects of the research is how one comes to these results. Without the proper survey to measure data, the research itself has no construct validity and is useless. Thus, it is important to ensure you have a survey designed to measure the proper variable before you make a conclusion concerning the data collected.

By addressing the topic of attitudes and situational factors that correlate with smoking behaviour, we have an opportunity to develop a new scale to measure attitudes. Specifically, we can use this new scale to compare beliefs of smokers to non-smokers and determine if there is any correlation between individual smoking and smoking behaviour of one's peers.

The body of past research suggests that smoking behaviour correlates strongly with peer smoking. In a study conducted by Simons-Morton (2002), two surveys were distributed among middle-school students, one at the beginning of the school year and one at the end.

While the aim of the research was to determine if parental influence or adolescent adjustment predicted future behaviour, the study also found that, among other factors, peer smoking behaviour positively correlates with the individual smoking behaviour. A second longitudinal study done by Maxwell (2002) also compared the influence of peers in initiating risk behaviours that included smoking. Results from this also suggest that smoking peers increase initiation of smoking behaviour in non-smokers and non-smokers with peers who smoked were almost twice as likely to initiate smoking as compared to non-smokers with non-smoker peers. They also found that individuals with non-smoking peers were just as likely to terminate smoking behaviour, suggesting that acceptance of behaviour by peers is more important than the activity itself.

A final study conducted by Levitt and Edwards (1970) administered a single survey and analysed the...