Perceptions of self, self-esteem, and the adolescent smoker
Health Education Journal, 58, (3), . (doi:10.1177/001789699905800302).
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Adolescent tobacco use remains a key problem in health education and health promotion. The continuing growth of youthful smoking and other substance use is often explained by appeal to global psychological variables such as self- esteem, where the young smoker is assumed to smoke, drink, or take drugs to compensate for low levels of self-esteem. This paper sets out a brief critique of the deployment of 'self-esteem' as a global variable in understanding adolescent smoking, and argues for a more complex vision of self-identity as a means of connecting young people's ideas about themselves with their concrete health behaviours.
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