Employed adolescents and beliefs about self-efficacy to avoid smoking

Pebbles Fagan, Marla Eisenberg, Lindsay Frazier, Anne M. Stoddard, Jill S. Avrunin, Glorian Sorensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This paper examines self-efficacy to avoid cigarette smoking and its association with smoking and quitting behavior, peer and worksite influences, nicotine dependence, and socio-demographic variables among employed adolescents. A cross-sectional survey was used to collect data from employed adolescents ages 15-18 who worked in 10 participating grocery stores in Massachusetts. Eighty-three percent of workers (n=379) completed the survey. Results from the multivariate model indicate that daily smokers were less confident in their ability to avoid smoking than those who smoked less frequently. As nicotine dependence increased, self-efficacy beliefs decreased. In addition, as friends' encouragement to quit increased, self-efficacy beliefs also increased. Work-related variables were not associated with self-efficacy beliefs among smokers. This study suggests that smoking frequency, nicotine dependence, and friends' encouragement to quit are associated with self-efficacy to avoid smoking. Researchers may tailor interventions for daily and less-than-daily smokers, build on peer networks that encourage quitting and help smokers resist pressures to smoke, and enhance strategies for coping with nicotine dependence in high-risk situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-626
Number of pages14
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Cancer Institute, R01 NR04748. The authors are grateful to the staff who participated on the project, including Jay Clark, Gina Escamilla, Chris Grasso, Dana Jessup, Hye Seung Lee, Ruth Lederman, Stefania Maggi, Richard Martins, Rachel Noriscat, Anil Pillay, Steve Potter, Lois Rasmussen Norstrom, Prabhjyot Singh, Dana Spain, Evelyn Stein, Rosemary Thom, Travis Trammell, David Wilson, and Kathleen Yaus. The authors thank the Scientific Advisory Board for their contributions to the development of the assessment tools and other study components, including Drs. J. Allan Best, Graham A. Colditz, William DeJong, Steven L. Gortmaker, Nancy Rigotti, and Michael Siegal, Ellen Frank, Judy Foley, and Jeanne M. Medas. This work would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts of the upper management, store managers, and teen employees of the participating worksites.


  • Nicotine dependence
  • Self-efficacy
  • Smoking
  • Social influences


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