The Reference Group Perspective for Smoking Cessation: An Examination of the Influence of Social Norms and Social Identification With Reference Groups on Smoking Cessation Self-Efficacy

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Abstract

This study proposed the Reference Group Perspective for smoking cessation, examining smokers' identification with three reference groups: best friends, colleagues, and family members, and hypothesizing that identification with each group would moderate the relationship between injunctive and descriptive norms of the group and smoking cessation self-efficacy. Results of an online questionnaire (N = 208) indicated that injunctive and descriptive norms of all three reference groups significantly affected smoking cessation self-efficacy, and this relationship was moderated by identification. Injunctive norms were stronger in predicting smoking cessation self-efficacy than descriptive norms, with injunctive norms of family members and descriptive norms of best friends having the most significant effect. Positive attitude toward smoking was also significantly associated with smoking cessation self-efficacy.

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