A culture-based study of personal and social influences of adolescent smoking

Bettina F. Piko, Aleksandra Luszczynska, Frederick X. Gibbons, Mert Teközel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Citations (Scopus)


Background: A range of factors have been found to influence the onset and maintenance of smoking among adolescents. The aim was to explore interrelationships among adolescent smoking and certain personal influences (academic achievement, life satisfaction and future-orientedness) and social influences (hostility, social comparison and perceived friends' smoking) using a cultural perspective. Methods: The study surveyed high school students aged 13-20, a total sample of 2387 adolescents from randomly selected classes in urban and metropolitan areas from Szeged (Hungary), Lublin and Warsaw (Poland), Izmir (Turkey) and Ames, Iowa (USA). The self-administered questionnaire contained items on smoking, sociodemographics, life satisfaction, future-orientedness, academic achievement, hostility, social comparison and perceived friends' smoking. Results: The frequency of smoking proved to be the highest among Hungarian (58.7%) and Polish (57.6%) adolescents, while the occurrence was 22.1% among US and 23.6% among Turkish adolescents. Across the countries, high life satisfaction, academic achievement, future orientedness and social comparison were related to lower rates of smoking. Perceived friends' smoking was a strong influence of adolescent smoking in all samples. Only paths from academic achievement and perceived peers' smoking differed across the countries. Conclusion: Findings suggest that interrelationships between adolescents' smoking and its social and personal influences are similar across all countries as a part of the developmental processes of adolescence. These findings point to the importance of both personal and social influences of adolescent smoking, which interact in a complex model, regardless culture or smoking rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-398
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean journal of public health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2005


  • Adolescents
  • Cross-country study
  • Personal and social influence
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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