Perceived risks and benefits of smoking: Differences among adolescents with different smoking experiences and intentions
ABSTRACT Explanations of adolescent smoking often make reference to adolescents' beliefs that they are invulnerable to harm. However, empirical examination of whether adolescents do acknowledge risks. Further, few studies have considered perceived benefits in adolescents' behavioral decisions. This study examined perceived smoking-related physical and social risks and benefits between adolescents who have vs. have not smoked and do vs. do not intend to smoke.
Three hundred and ninety-five students (mean age = 14.0) completed a survey concerning their smoking experiences, intentions, and perceived risks and benefits of smoking.
Adolescent smokers and those who intend to smoke estimated their chance of experiencing a smoking-related negative outcome as less likely than did nonsmokers and non-intenders. Smokers and intenders also reported the chance of addiction as less likely than did others. In contrast, adolescent smokers and intenders perceived the chance of experiencing a smoking-related benefit as more likely than did nonsmokers and non-intenders.
The data suggest that rather than solely focusing on health risks as a way to deter adolescent smoking, the role of perceived social risks and benefits in adolescents' smoking may be an additional critical focus for intervention. In addition, efforts should be made to increase adolescents' awareness of the addictive nature of cigarettes.
- SourceAvailable from: David R. Mandel
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- "As noted earlier, there is evidence that risk taking is influenced more by considerations of the benefits of engaging in the risky behavior rather than the drawbacks. However, because probability and importance were not measured separately in past studies (e.g., Benthin et al. 1993; Halpern-Felsher et al. 2004; Moore and Gullone 1996; Nickoletti and Taussig 2006; Parsons et al. 1997), competing explanations of why benefits seem to be carry more weight than drawbacks could not be disentangled. "
ABSTRACT: This research examined whether youth’s forecasted risk taking is best predicted by a compensatory (namely, subjective expected utility) or non-compensatory (e.g., single-factor) model. Ninety youth assessed the importance of perceived benefits, importance of perceived drawbacks, subjective probability of benefits, and subjective probability of drawbacks for 16 risky behaviors clustered evenly into recreational and health/safety domains. In both domains, there was strong support for a non-compensatory model in which only the perceived importance of the benefits of engaging in a risky behavior predicted youths’ forecasted engagement in risky behavior. The study overcomes earlier methodological weaknesses by fully decomposing participants’ assessments into importance and probability aspects for both benefits and drawbacks. As such, the 6findings provide clear evidence in support of a bounded-rationality perspective on youth decision making regarding risk taking.Synthese 12/2012; 189(1). DOI:10.1007/s11229-012-0110-2 · 0.64 Impact Factor
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- "This has been explained by increases in sexual awareness and sensation seeking during that period (Bouchey & Furman, 2003; Breakwell & Millward, 1997; Zuckerman, 1979; Zuckerman, Ball & Black, 1990). Third, research on offline risks suggests that adolescents and adults differ in the perception of risks and benefits of risk behaviors (Goldberg, Halpern-Felsher & Millstein, 2002; Halpern-Felsher, Biehl, Kropp & Rubinstein, 2004). That is, adolescents may fail to perceive specific risks associated with a risky behavior and, at the same time, overestimate the benefits of such behaviors. "
ABSTRACT: There are widespread concerns that on the internet, adolescents are especially vulnerable and take more risks than adults. However, research supporting this concern is still missing. The aim of this study was to explore whether (a) unwanted online sexual solicitation, (b) risky sexual online behavior, and (c) the perception of risks and benefits of risky sexual online behavior vary for males and females in adolescence and adulthood. We conducted an online survey with a representative sample of 1765 Dutch adolescents (grouped as 12–13-, 14–15-, and 16–17-year olds) and 1026 Dutch adults (grouped as 18–29-, 30–50-, and 50–88-year olds). Results indicated that adolescents were more at risk of becoming a victim of unwanted online sexual solicitation than adults. However, they did not engage in more online sexual risks than adults. As expected, females were sexually solicited more often than males but took fewer online sexual risks than males. Across all adolescent and adult age groups, perceived risks of risky sexual online behavior were high while perceived benefits were low. Contrary to earlier theories, adolescents did not perceive fewer risks or more benefits of risky sexual online behavior than adults.Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 11/2010; DOI:10.1016/j.appdev.2010.07.005 · 1.85 Impact Factor
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- "First, perceived benefits have been recognized as being of equal or greater importance than perceived risks in understanding risky behavior, including cigarette use (Benthin et al., 1993; Goldberg et al., 2002; Halpern-Felsher et al., 2004; Parsons et al., 1997; Prochaska et al., 1992; Prochaska and Velicer, 1992). Second, research has examined adolescents' perceptions of short-term outcomes of smoking (Gritz et al., 2003; Halpern-Felsher et al., 2004; Prokhorov et al., 2002), which may be of greater importance in determining behavior than potential long-term outcomes (Halpern-Felsher et al., 2007). Third, researchers have recognized the importance of both physiological processes (e.g., pleasurable rush or buzz, relaxation; Eissenberg and Balster, 2000; Pomerleau et al., 1998) and social processes (e.g., looking cool, having more friends; Epstein et al., 2000; Nichter et al., 2007; Rugkasa et al., 2001) in determining smoking behavior. "
ABSTRACT: To examine the physiological and social consequences that 9th and 10th grade adolescents experience as a result of experimenting with cigarette use, and whether consequences vary by level of experimentation and gender. Data were collected between 2001 and 2004 from 395 adolescents attending two northern California public high schools. Analyses are limited to 155 adolescents who reported puffing on cigarettes or smoking whole cigarettes at any of four time points during the study. The percentage of adolescents reporting consequences of smoking was as follows: any positive consequence (56%), felt relaxed (46%), looked cool (31%), looked grown-up (27%), became popular (17%), any negative consequence (56%), friends were upset (35%), trouble catching breath (29%), bad cough (26%), and got into trouble (23%). Ten percent of adolescents reported only experiencing negative consequences, 11% reported only positive consequences, 45% reported both negative and positive consequences, and 34% reported no consequences. Greater levels of experimentation were associated with greater likelihood of reporting positive or negative consequences. Few gender differences emerged. Adolescents experience both positive and negative consequences of experimentation with cigarette use. Prevention and intervention efforts should acknowledge that positive consequences of smoking may occur and address how these consequences can be achieved through other behaviors.Preventive Medicine 07/2008; 46(6):585-90. DOI:10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.01.019 · 2.93 Impact Factor