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J Pediatr Psychol. 1991 Dec;16(6):687-99.

Adolescent smoking and perceived vulnerability to smoking-related causes of death.

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Southern Illinois University.


Tested adolescent smokers' perceptions of risk for smoking-related causes of death in comparison to nonsmoking peers. 408 high school Ss (11% regular smokers, 15% occasional smokers) estimated the likelihood of personal death from cancer, emphysema, and stroke. Smokers did not differ from nonsmokers on perceived risks for smoking-related deaths. Smokers and nonsmokers perceived the odds of dying from cancer as high but, unrealistically, smokers did not view it as higher than nonsmokers. Regular smokers who report high exposure to news appear to minimize the risks for cancer and stroke deaths. High sensation-seeking tendencies led to lower perceived risks for males but not for females. The "invulnerability syndrome" is discussed in relationship to adolescents' risk perceptions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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