Advisor(s) - Committee Chair
James Grimm, John Faine, Stephen Groce
Department of Sociology
Master of Arts
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship that exists between adolescents and conventional social institutions, and how this relationship effects regular cigarette usage among adolescents. Using the theoretical framework of Travis Hirschi's four elements of the social bond--Attachment, Commitment, Involvement, and Belief--the researcher defines cigarette smoking as a deviant activity that is more likely to be regul-rly practiced by adolescents who have a weak social bond to conventional institutions such as family, school, and church than those who have a strong bond to these institutions. Overall, the writer investigates the argument that adolescents' decreased attachments to social institutions such as family, church, and school will increase the likelihood of their decisions to experiment with and to continue smoking cigarette[s].
Data were acquired from a 1992 questionnaire survey of high school-aged students who were attending one of the three schools in a northern Kentucky county (N = 2,042). Analysis consists of comparisons between the smoking habits of adolescents who have strong ties to conventional social institutions and those who do not. Three forms of analysis are employed for this study: bivariate analysis, table elaboration, and stepwise regression.
The findings in this thesis support the argument that adolescents who have a strong social bond to conventional institutions and activities are less likely to regularly smoke cigarettes than those whose social bonds are weak. All four of Hirschi's social bond elements were found to be significantly related to regular smoking among adolescents. Adolescents who had been arrested or suspended from school were found to exhibit a much greater likelihood to regularly smoke cigarettes than any other subgroup examined within this thesis. Overall, results of this thesis suggest that the causal explanations outlined by Hirschi in his 1969 book, Causes of Delinquency, and used in subsequent sociological research to explain deviance, are legitimate arguments in explaining and predicting regular cigarette smoking among adolescents.
Medicine and Health | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology
Loiacano, Donald, "Examining Regular Cigarette Use Among Adolescents through Travis Hirschi’s Social Control Theory" (1993). Masters Theses & Specialist Projects. Paper 3304.