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Smokers' representations of their own smoking: a Q-methodological study

By Patricia Collins, Moira Maguire and Lindsay O'Dell


Little work has addressed how smokers represent their own smoking rather than smoking in general. Research has identified a huge number of variables that contribute to smoking, yet not much is known about how smokers 'make sense' of these and construct explanations of the factors that contribute to their own smoking. This study used Q-methodology to investigate smokers' own representations of their smoking behaviour. Concourse analysis produced 75 statements about smoking and these were used to generate the Q-grid. 36 adult smokers completed this grid and an accompanying response booklet. Analysis revealed four main factors: smoking as a social tool; the dual identity\ud smoker; reactionary smoking, and smoking as a social event. An exploration of these factors suggests that smokers hold complex and diverse representations of their own smoking and construct explanations of it in different ways. We argue that an understanding of the diversity of smokers' representations and explanations of their own smoking could play a useful role in developing more effective targeted interventions.\ud (Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications Ltd from Collins, Patricia and Maguire, Moira and O'Dell, Lindsay (2002) Smokers' representations of their own smoking: a Q-methodological study. Copyright 2005 SAGE Publications).\u

Topics: UOW10
OAI identifier: oai:westminsterresearch.wmin.ac.uk:211
Provided by: WestminsterResearch

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