Sociological factors regarding smoking
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More than one-third of school pupils smoke at least once a month and 17% smoke a cigarette nearly every day (USDHHS, 2004). So, the research is required to analyze the precursors of smoking start in adolescence. In this essay, we will analyze whether media pressure and gender affect adolescent smoking plainly, but also whether it affects adolescent smoking indirectly by inﬂuencing individual sensitivity to peer relationships. This research specifically addresses two questions. One, how does social factors affect the ability to become an adolescent smoker. Second, how does this vary by social status?
Some of the studies in adolescent smoking are established in theory, whereas other researches have a more empirical position. There are two social factors that have been used to clarify the initiation to and the acquisition of smoking – peer influence and media pressure.
The term “peer pressure” has become a trivial colloquialism, which when supposed in regard to cigarette smoking conjures up images of teenagers encouraging, striving, taunting and even mobbing each other to “take a drag”. Nevertheless, when considered with admiration to research on social inﬂuence, this image appears to be a misnomer. That is, review ﬁndings suggest overwhelmingly that pressures to smoke cigarettes are mostly normative, and not direct or compulsory, in nature (an article “Adolescent Cigarette Smokers and Their Families”, 1993).
Review findings disclose that adolescent peer interrelations further to adolescent cigarette smoking. Youth who are intimates with smokers have been found to be more acceptable to smoke themselves than those with only non-smokers as friends. Best friends, loving partners, peer groups and social crowds all have been found to give to the smoking or non-smoking action of teenagers. In some cases, peer weight promotes smoking and, in other situations, they discourage it. The gears of peer inﬂuence perform to be more covert and insidious than is thought commonly. That is, rather than be the solution of direct and compulsory pressures; decisions considering smoking behavior have been found to think predetermined choices about ﬁtting in, public approval, popularity and autonomy.
Another social factor is media pressure. Current essay is beginning to survey mediating variables that may give awareness into the mechanisms through which media (such as movies) affect behavior. Supposed reconcilers involve stands and cognitions, as well as another characteristic such as smoking by peers. Various reviews have now inspected the dependence between the smoking youth see in movies (based on content-based values of exposure to movie smoking) and adolescent smoking. A primary study in 2001 found that there was a robust relation between exposure to movie smoking and smoking beginning among a large sample of New England adolescents and that this statistical association remained after verifying for several traditional risk factors for smoking (Pechmann, C., & Shih, C.F., 1999). Amid the adolescents who had never tried a cigarette, exposure to movie smoking was related with more effective attitudes about tobacco use and the conception that most adults smoke. A follow-up research of these never-smoking adolescents found that exposure to film smoking at baseline foretold smoking initiation 1 to 2 years later. The follow-up research appeared that the exposure preceded the reaction a significant requirement for making a causal argument (an article “Bad influence: TV, movies linked to adolescent smoking”, 2007).
Master status in this essay describes how parent or peer smoking and testosterone levels might clarify the start of adolescent smoking. In our example, males and females were considered separately. Each gender was labeled as having high, medium, or low levels of testosterone (Bauman, K.E., Foshee, V.A., and Haley, N.J., 1992).
For males, the highest overall interdependence of cigarette smoking was whether or not they had a friend who smoked. This interdependence was stronger among males who had who had high levels of testosterone (0.52) or temperate levels of testosterone (0.52), and slightly less predictive amid those who had low levels of testosterone (0.39). In a different way, males with high and temperate levels of testosterone appeared more impressionable to the influence of friends than was the case for those who had lower levels of testosterone.
For females, both smoking by their mothers and smoking by their intimates was mightily correlated with their own smoking. Interdependencies with smoking by intimates were high in all three testosterone groups (high – 0.53; medium – 0.77; low – 0.63). Nevertheless, smoking was correlated between females and their mothers only for the high testosterone (0.35) and temperate testosterone (0.45) groups; the low testosterone correlation for girls was (-0.09). That is to say, females’ smoking decision seemed to be influenced by their intimates irrespective of how much testosterone they had circulating in their systems. On the other hand, mothers influence smoking resolutions only amid girls who had high and temperate testosterone levels.
Both master status characteristics, such as testosterone levels, and social influence processes, such as having a smoking parent or friend, can influence adolescent smoking. Several descriptions of the influence of biology could be supposed. For example, the development of adult physical factors may trigger a desire to act like an adult and experiment with adult behaviors. It may also be the sample that testosterone is related to one’s personality and teens who have high levels of testosterone may actively seek out risk taking opportunities.
Several sociological theories have been used to clarify the process by which social relationships change individuals’ health-risk behaviors, such as drug, alcohol and tobacco use, but only two of these theories are addressed substantially in this paper: primary socialization theory and social learning theory.
Primary socialization theory
Primary socialization theory places expressiveness on the relational bonds that exist among teenagers and their families, peers and school, as such bonds serve as channels through which information about norms and behaviors are transmitted. Nevertheless, when the bonds that youth have with their families and schools are frail the role of peer clusters is heightened, as well as the probability that these clusters will be comprised of youth who promote norms and behaviors in favor of substance use and deviance. Although family and school are considered likely sources of information about drug use and deviance, peers are supposed the major source of transferal.
Social learning theory
Social learning theory (Oetting, E. R. & Beauvais, F., 1987) supposed both public advances and cognitive negotiation as important in the acquirement and maintenance of behavior, such as smoking. According to this view, behaviors are learned through the survey of others engaged in a behavior and following modeling of this behavior, as well as the awards/punishments and favorable/unfavorable definitions associated with the behavior. While social learning theory emphasizes social contacts with some else’s, it does not place equal emphasis on all communications. The direct ascendancies of parents and peers are supposed primary sociological characteristics, and indirect reference groups, such as the media, are considered secondary. Youth are viewed as being most possible to imitate the smoking or non-smoking action of those with whom they have the greatest amount of contact, both in frequency and length. As well, interactions that are more closely and that happen earlier in youths’ adventures are supposed to be more significant in the social learning advance than those that are less strong and come later.
US Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing tobacco use among young people.A report of the Surgeon General (2004). Atlanta, Georgia: Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,OYce on Smoking and Health
Bauman, K.E., Foshee, V.A., and Haley, N.J. (1992). The interaction of sociological and biological factors in adolescent cigarette smoking. Addictive Behaviors, 459-467.
Pechmann, C., & Shih, C.F. (1999). Smoking scenes in movies and antismoking advertisements
before movies: Effects on youth. Journal of Marketing, 1–13.
Oetting, E. R. & Beauvais, F. (1987). Peer cluster theory, socialization characteristics, and adolescent drug use: a path analysis. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 205–213.
Adolescent Cigarette Smokers and Their Families (December 1993). Retrieved from
Bad influence: TV, movies linked to adolescent smoking (March 2007). Retrieved from