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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Factors that influence teenage smoking habits Mitchell, James


The purpose of this study was to determine whether any significant relationship existed between a teenager's smoking habits and certain selected factors. The factors studied were peer group pressures, the smoking habits of the parents, siblings who smoked and such social factors as the occupation and nationality of the parents. The hypotheses tested were: 1. Interpersonal factors have the most significant effect on the teenager and have an influence on whether he or she is a smoker or non-smoker; 2. Distinct differences exist between the reasons why males begin to smoke as opposed to why females begin. A female may be more influenced by the parents' smoking habits, especially the same-sex parent, while a male may be influenced by a combined effect of friends, parents, and siblings; 3. A teenager's smoking habit is more representative of their same-sex parent's smoking habits. The research instrument used in this study was a questionnaire which was specifically designed and constructed to meet the requirements of this study. The subjects used for this study were drawn from schools administrated by The Board of Education for the City of Hamilton in Hamilton, Ontario. The subjects, both males and females, ranged in age from 13 to 20 and were drawn from Grades 9 through 12 with 500 students being questioned. Cross tabulations, which allowed the drawing up of contingency tables for any discrete variables, either numeric or alphanumeric were utilized along with the chi square (X²) test to examine a number of paired relationships. This study concluded that a person's smoking habits, were not related to one factor alone but rather, a number of factors working together.

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