An exploration of self-reported negative affect by adolescents as a reason for smoking: implications for tobacco prevention and intervention programs. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Negative affect is related to initiation and maintenance of smoking among youth and understanding its role is important when developing effective prevention and cessation programs. This study investigates the relationship between adolescent negative affect and smoking dependence, behaviors, attitudes, and self-efficacy in order to shed light on differences in adolescent smoking maintenance and cessation. METHODS: 721 smoking youth participated in a cognitive-behavioral smoking cessation program. Reasons for smoking were categorized (alpha = 0.87) and youth were placed into one of two groups based on presence or absence of negative affect. One-way repeated measures ANOVA determined if differences existed between the groups on smoking behaviors, attitudes, and self-efficacy. One-way ANOVA determined if differences existed on Fagerstrm Nicotine Tolerance Dependence (FTND) scores. RESULTS: Adolescents indicating negative affect for smoking were significantly more likely to have future smoking intentions and had significantly less self-efficacy to quit smoking than adolescent reporting other reasons. CONCLUSIONS: This study supports the need to address negative affect among adolescents participating in prevention and cessation programs. An examination of negative affect will provide program developers and facilitators with information to improve their interventions, assist with cessation, and provide an avenue to access other needed health services.

published proceedings

  • Prev Med

author list (cited authors)

  • Stevens, S. L., Colwell, B., Smith, D. W., Robinson, J., & McMillan, C.

citation count

  • 36

complete list of authors

  • Stevens, Stacey L||Colwell, Brian||Smith, Dennis W||Robinson, James||McMillan, Catherine

publication date

  • August 2005