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Chronological narratives of the smoking experiences of six adolescent females

Claudia Gaye Peyton, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Smoking is now the leading known cause of preventable death and disease among women. Despite four decades of prevention efforts, young women represent the largest group of new smokers. In the United States alone, thirty percent of girls graduating from high school have become smokers during or before entering. The percentage of girls that are smoking when they drop out of high school is higher than those that are graduates. Among young women leave high school as smokers most have continued regular smoking five years later (USDHHS, 2001). ^ The aim of this study was to explore the smoking process from initiation to continuation. A qualitative narrative analysis was used to uncover retrospective and chronicles of the smoking experiences of six young women ages 19–23 who started smoking during adolescence. Tape-recorded, semi-structured interviews and historic time lines were used to collect data. ^ Qualitative data analysis resulted in six chronologies of smoking experiences detailed in past, present and future dimensions of time and situated in the personal and social contexts of participants lives. A three-dimensional model (3-D) was developed from the work of Clandinin and Connelly (2000) and used in the data analysis process. ^ Findings were congruent with the existing literature on reasons for female smoking initiation. The uniqueness of findings were that initiation and continuation of smoking is a complex processes that include multilevel interactions of the personal, social and environmental and gender specific dimensions of life and that these dimensions and their meanings change over time. Chronologies of the smoking process illuminate the limitations of understanding smoking from the perspective of existing stage theory explanations. ^

Subject Area

Education, Secondary|Education, Health

Recommended Citation

Peyton, Claudia Gaye, "Chronological narratives of the smoking experiences of six adolescent females" (2002). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3034387.