College freshmen smokers versus nonsmokers: Academic, social, and emotional expectations and attitudes toward college

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Abstract

In September 1996, 544 college freshmen completed a 142-item survey assessing their academic, social, and emotional expectations of college and attitudes toward cigarette smoking. Differences were explored based on gender and smoking status. Twenty-seven percent (n=148) were smokers, 58% (n=86) of whom were female. Chi-square analyses revealed several significant relationships. Smokers rated themselves significantly higher than nonsmokers in several measures of academic performance, including reading speed, reading comprehension, and earning a B average or higher. They also had significantly higher expectations of the college experience than did nonsmokers. Female smokers were less likely than nonsmoking females to expect to be popular and to be depressed; however, their academic performance expectations were higher than nonsmoking females. Male smokers were more likely than nonsmoking males to expect to be held to the “highest academic standards” and rated themselves as more competitive and more committed to learning than did nonsmoking males. Seventy-three percent of smokers cited stress as a reason for smoking. Smokers rated “having friends and roommates who don’t smoke” as the most helpful quitting method. Implications for effective smoking cessation among college students are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-283
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Health Education
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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