Applying the Theory of Reasoned Action to Early Adolescent Tobacco Chewing

Ruth Wenzl Gerber, Ian M. Newman, Gary L. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT: Beliefs and social norms elicited from adolescents were employed in the theory of reasoned action to predict early adolescent males' intention to chew tobacco. About 50% of males had chewed tobacco. Responses of chewing intenders and nonintenders differed in response direction and in response strength. Response differences regarding physical effects (cancer, yellow teeth, habit forming) as well as psychosocial effects (look cool, relax, have a good time with friends) suggested specific educational strategies. Intenders and nonintenders both reported not believing chewing causes cancer, an erroneous belief. Nonintenders reported belief carry over from smoking: chewing will “make my clothes smelly” and chewing will “give me shortness of breath,” both unfounded. Nonintenders reported less referent support for chewing. Both groups reported a general unwillingness to comply with their significant others. 1988 American School Health Association

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-413
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of School Health
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Philosophy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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