When surveyed, female smokers often report stress reduction as a major motivation to smoke cigarettes. Research has also strengthened the proposal that gender role may play an influential role in the propensity to smoke. It is possible that perceived stress and gender role can distinguish between smoking groups as well as predict smoking frequency.
This study investigated the role of perceived stress and gender role as indicators of smoking status and predictors of smoking frequency in a female college population. The sample was composed of 53 daily smokers, 70 occasional smokers, 267 never smokers, and 16 exsmokers recruited from undergraduate psychology courses at the University of Northern Iowa. Participants completed a questionnaire packet that included a measure of global perceived stress, a measure of specific college-related stressors, a gender role inventory assessing feminine, masculine, and androgyny orientations, and various smoking and demographic items.
We found that daily smokers and occasional smokers scored significantly higher than never smokers on college-related stress and daily smokers scored significantly higher than never smokers on global stress. A feminine gender role, however, did not distinguish between any smoking groups. Also, both stress measures and the feminine gender role scale were poor and insignificant predictors of the numbers of cigarettes smoked. While gender role appears to have little, if any, utility in understanding why women smoke, these results do suggest that smoking and stress are related. Such knowledge can have implications for the development of smoking prevention and cessation programs.
Conference Proceedings: Undergraduate Social Science Research Conference
©1998 by the University of Northern Iowa
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA
Determan, Courtney; Wright, Darren; Nuzzo, Lynn; and Barrios, Frank
"Effects of Percieved Stress and Gender Role on Smoking in Female College Students,"
Conference Proceedings: Undergraduate Social Science Research Conference: Vol. 2:
1, Article 16.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/csbsproceedings/vol2/iss1/16