Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


University of Northern Iowa--Students--Tobacco use; University of Northern Iowa; College students--Tobacco use--Iowa--Cedar Falls; College students--Tobacco use; Students--Tobacco use; Iowa--Cedar Falls; Academic theses;


The purpose of this study primarily, was to investigate and identify the influence of the four focus areas (media, family, peer, and psychological coping technique) on the smoking behavior among female and male college students of the University of Northern Iowa. A description of differences in the influences of the focus areas on the smoking behavior on gender was included in the study. A non-random (convenient) sample of 100 students was drawn from the various Departments and Schools from five colleges in the University (57% males and 43% females).

The Sample responded to a 44-item self-report (survey) questionnaire. Overall means and standard deviations were reported regarding the four focus areas and each item on the questionnaire. Data analysis was conducted using One-way analysis of variance (ANOV A) to determine the difference in gender as regard the four focus areas, including items in the "other influences" category. Test of statistical significance was conducted concerning participants' current age, age at which they first tried cigarette, age at which they started smoking regularly, and the number of cigarettes they smoked per day or weekly against gender.

The findings of the study indicated that participants agreed on "using cigarette as a psychological-coping technique" but disagreed on the influence of the family, peer, and media advertising on their smoking behavior. They agreed on some items such as "alcohol consumption under the "other influence" category.

The study found significant difference in the smoking behavior among male and female respondents as regard the influence of peer, family, current age, and age at which they first tried cigarette. There was no significant difference in the influence of media advertising, using cigarette as a psychological-coping technique and some items under the "other influences" category. A non-significant difference was also found concerning the age at which they started smoking regularly, and the number of cigarettes they smoked per day or weekly.

Based on the result of the study it was concluded that participants mostly used cigarette smoking as a psychological-coping technique. The student smokers reported that stressful situations both on and off campus influenced their smoking behavior a great deal. It was recommended that the University should plan and implement programs that would educate students better on the negative health effects of cigarette smoking. The University again should find means of reducing stressful situations on campus as well as suggest other coping-options for the students, and that these programs must be gender and age appropriate.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Catherine Zeman

Second Advisor

Dennis Cryer

Third Advisor

Diane Depken


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Date Original


Object Description

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