Rethinking the Nature of Youth Smoking Behavior: Investigating the Biopsychosocial Factors

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Clark, Jennifer L.
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Mount Saint Vincent University
The purpose of this study was to investigate the biopsychosocial factors that influence youth smoking behavior. Sixty-four high school students completed surveys for one phase of the study. Thirty-six other students participated in an interview phase, which in addition to questions on the influence of biopsychosocial factors, included questions pertaining to perceptions of other smokers and recommendations for school programming around youth smoking. Analysis of the data indicated that a combination of biological, psychological and social factors influence youth smoking behavior across smoking classifications (current smokers, ex-smokers and nonsmokers) and across gender although this was less apparent. Student perceptions of other smokers tended to focus on the notion that smoking is a personal choice as well as on the reality of smoking’s negative health effects. Student’s recommendations for schools centered on the following themes: real life examples, prevention, and support during the quitting process. The author also provides recommendations.
Biopsychosocial Factors , Influence Youth Smoking , School Programming