Adults use food, alcohol, and drugs, including cigarettes, to alter their mood states. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that adolescents follow a similar course. This paper explores adolescents’ use of cigarettes to moderate negative emotions. The authors examine questionnaire and qualitative data from a longitudinal study of over 3,500 East Sussex secondary school pupils in the context of published accounts of stress, coping and smoking. Together, these studies raise the possibility that smokers perceive more stress in their lives and use different coping strategies from non‐smokers. Results indicate that despite the popular belief that adolescent girls experience greater stress than do teenage boys, the gender differences in smoking prevalence observed in recent years cannot be attributed directly to differences either in perceived stress, or in coping strategies. Finally, beliefs about smoking and weight control are explored in the context of young adolescents’ views about their bodies. The widely held assumption that teenage girls use cigarettes to control body weight is challenged.
CitationDownload as .RIS
MCB UP Ltd
Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited