Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Hardiness and Problem-Solving Skills as Preventive Factors against Smoking among Adolescents

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Hardiness and Problem-Solving Skills as Preventive Factors against Smoking among Adolescents

Article excerpt


Smoking is the biggest threat to public health, and it remains a serious cause of death in the world; therefore, it is essential to develop our knowledge concerning the attitudes among adolescents toward cigarette smoking. This study was conducted to examine the associations among hardiness, problem-solving skills appraisal and attitude towards cigarette smoking in adolescents. The participants comprised of 550 high school students from Tehran, completed the self-report questionnaires. The structural equation modelling (SEM) estimated that adolescents with a high ability for hardiness, effective problem-solving confidence, internal personal control and approaching coping styles were more likely to report negative attitude towards cigarette smoking. The findings promote the value of problem-solving skills and hardiness as protective factors against smoking.

Keywords: hardiness, problem-solving skills appraisal, attitudes toward cigarette smoking, adolescents

1. Introduction

Cigarette smoking has become one of the biggest threats to public health the world has ever faced (Moxham, Dwyer, & Reid-Searl, 2012), and cigarette smoking, obesity and diabetes are responsible for 59% of the preventable death in the world (Haenle et al., 2006; Jung & Chung, 2013). There are more than one billion smokers in the world, and six million people died due to cigarette smoking annually, and one million second hand smokers died due to smoke inhalation (WHO, 2013). Cigarette smoking is proven causal of cancer, cardiovascular, respiratory, and other diseases (Filion & Luepker, 2013). The coronary heart disease risk in smokers is two to three times higher than for non-smokers (Moxham et al., 2012). It is predicted that the fatality rate might reach to more than eight million by 2030 if urgent action is not taken (WHO, 2013). While smoking is a serious health issue in itself, it is also associated with serious psychological and physical problems relative to that for never smokers (Berg et al., 2012; Toghianifar et al., 2012). Remarkably, several studies have revealed that the age for the onset of cigarette smoking is decreasing in the world (Babanov, 2006; Damianaki et al., 2008; Ramlau, Didkowska, Wojciechowska, & Tarkowski, 2005). In Iran, more than 12 million people are cigarette smokers; the age for the onset of cigarette smoking is under 18 years and the prevalence for cigarette smoking is higher among the boys (Riahi, Aliverdinia, & Soleymani, 2009). Therefore, the study about attitude towards cigarette smoking is essential for prevention of smoking among male adolescents who are the main consumer of cigarette (Mendel, Berg, Windle, & Windle, 2012). In this study attitude towards cigarette smoking was assessed in male adolescents, because attitude towards cigarette smoking reflect evaluative associations to cigarette smoking and are helpful in predicting cigarette smoking behaviors.

Data from several studies have shown that individuals who have used drugs choose smoking as a solution to their problem (Vidrine et al., 2011). Especially during adolescence, individuals may choose cigarette smoking as a solution for problems under stressful life events (Vidrine et al., 2011), and may even connect to smoking as a solution for daily stressors (Triplett & Payne, 2004). Novacek, Raskin, & Hogan (1991) found that adolescents use drugs for five main reasons: (a) as a viable solution to manage stressful life events, (b) as a sense of belonging with peers and friends or pressures from peers to smoke, (c) as a rebellious act against parents, (d) for more enjoyment, and (e) to increase creativity and innovation. Such reasons noted by smokers imply that they often choose irrational solutions to their problems. It is evident that we face diverse problems every day, and that we have to find effective solutions for them, otherwise we will experience psychological and social problems, such as depression and anxiety (Murawski et al. …

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