Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


In order to implement the purpose of this research, it was decided to try to identify a set of self-perceptual variables which distinguished people in terms of their smoking behavior. Smoking behavior was construed as manifesting itself across a continuum from nonsmoking to smoking. This was consistent with the self-orientation of the present research in which smoking is not viewed as a discrete behavior, separate from one's view of self. With the general aim of gathering as much information as possible from a previously unexplored area, a questionnaire was constructed which tapped four aspects of self-perception: general self-description (adjective ratings), specific self-description (behavioral exemplars), self-effectance (locus of control) and self-evaluation (semantic differential ratings). The hypotheses predicted that self-perceptions would show a relationship to smoking behavior by successfully discriminating people in terms of their smoking behavior. More specifically, it was hypothesized the groups would differ in each aspect of self-perception and that smokers would constitute the most distinct group.;A total of 435 persons (210 Nonsmokers, 156 Smokers, and 69 Quitters) participated in the main study. Smokers indicated more frustration, a greater identification with cigarettes as expressing the "real me", a more positive evaluation of themselves as a smoker and less evaluative distance between themselves as a smoker or a nonsmoker than did the other groups. Discriminant analyses demonstrated that a set of self-perceptual variables discriminated the groups well, reclassified persons with considerable accuracy and accounted for a substantial amount of variance in smoking behavior. The first conclusion was that a relationship between self-perceptions and smoking behavior had been established. Secondly, self-perceptions were implicated in the process of behavior change with regard to smoking and in the maintenance of that change. Thirdly, aspects of self-perception specific to smoking seemed more important to discrimination and prediction than did more general aspects. Finally, light smokers were identified as a group somewhat distinct from other smokers in terms of their self-perceptions.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.