Integrating Four Theories of Adolescent Smoking

Published in: Substance Use and Misuse, v. 39, no. 2, Mar. 1,2004, p. 179-209

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2004

by Rebecca L. Collins, Phyllis L. Ellickson

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The ability of the Theory of Planned Behavior, Social Learning Theory, Social Attachment Theory, and Problem Behavior Theory to predict smoking at Grade 10 was tested against an integrated model incorporating predictors from all the theories. The integrated model also tested whether constructs from each theory contribute distinct variance to the prediction of smoking. Predictors measured at Grade 7 (in 1985) were used to model smoking 3 years later (in 1988) among 4186 youth, using logistic regression. Constructs emphasized by each theory were important, independent predictors of later smoking. The integrated model was superior to all of the theory-based models. A few predictors varied for current vs. frequent smoking outcomes. Results emphasize the need for a multifaceted approach to understanding and preventing adolescent smoking.

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