Cigarette smoking in teenage girls: exploring the role of peer reputations, self-concept and coping Academic Article uri icon


  • Reducing the prevalence of smoking among teenagers is an important goal for health and education professionals. In the present study, self-reported cigarette smoking status was examined among 241 adolescent females from four metropolitan, independent girls' schools in suburban Melbourne, Australia. This study was particularly concerned with the role of peer reputations, coping and self-concept as influences on teenage girls' decision making with respect to smoking. Coping strategies, levels of self-concept and reputation enhancement were assessed using the High School Student Activity Questionnaire. Three separate multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVAs) revealed that six of the 11 reputation variables, three of the four self-concept variables and two of the three coping variables contributed to the main effect of smoking status. Post hoc analyses allowed some profiling of current cigarette smokers as compared to never smokers. This study offers support to reputation enhancement theory with regard to cigarette smoking in adolescent girls, and also provides continued evidence for the importance of particular aspects of self-concept and coping skills with respect to cigarette smoking. Suggestions for further research are discussed and some possible implications of the findings for school-based health education programmes are raised.

publication date

  • August 1, 2003