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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The process of remaining a non-smoker as experienced by adolescent females Dunn, Deborah Ann


The purpose of this study was to investigate the process of remaining a non-smoker used by adolescent females. Grounded theory was used as the research methodology to guide this qualitative study. Through the use of theoretical sampling, data was collected from seventeen female adolescents through audiotaped interviews. The findings of the study revealed that the girls proceeded through a three-phase process in order to remain a non-smoker. The main theme underpinning the entire process was found to be the development of self-confidence. The girls each possessed their own individual degree of self-confidence which enable them to commence the process by first making sense of smoking. Subsequently, the girls proceeded to phase two, rejecting smoking, only after they had decided that smoking served no purpose in their lives. Successfully rejecting smoking enabled two things to happen; 1) self-confidence increased and 2) one became known as a non-smoker. Finally, the girls were able to declare themselves to be nonsmokers, signaling the completion of the process of remaining a non-smoker. Three intervening conditions being busy, having support, and peer pressure to fit in were identified which influenced both the development of self-confidence and the progress of the process of remaining a non-smoker. By studying the experiences of non-smoking female adolescents, the investigator discovered that some girls do implement a process for remaining non-smokers. Interestingly, these girls were quite unaware of the process they were utilizing. This would imply that there may be value in fostering an awareness in adolescents and the people who interact with them that indeed there is a process occurring that empowers teenagers to be successful at remaining smoke-free. By learning more about this process, more adolescents could be prepared for what they may experience and then health care professionals could better support and foster their efforts to proceed on a path of remaining smoke-free.

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