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Addict Behav. 2004 Nov;29(8):1615-22.

Explaining adolescents' smoking and drinking behavior: the concept of smoker and drinker prototypes in relation to variables of the theory of planned behavior.

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Addiction Research Institute Rotterdam, Heemraadssingel 194, 3021 DM, The Netherlands.


Research has demonstrated that social image factors play an important role in the course of adolescent's substance use, that is, smoking and drinking. The concept of social images or prototypes is embedded into a theoretical model called the prototype/willingness model. The present study addresses the relative value of the prototype/willingness model in relation to the theory of planned behavior. To study relations between prototypes and adolescents' willingness and intention to engage in smoking and drinking behavior, cross-sectional data among 2814 adolescents (12-16 years) were gathered. Results show that adolescents describe daily-smoking and weekly-drinking peers generally as slightly well adjusted, slightly rebellious, not really cool, and not really attractive. Positive relations were observed between smoker and drinker prototypes and adolescents' intention and willingness to smoke and drink in the future. Furthermore, regression analyses showed that prototypes of daily-smoking and weekly-drinking peers explained a significant part of the variance in intention and willingness to smoke and drink, and added significantly to the variance explained by the variables of the theory of planned behavior.

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