The study considers the relationship between self-esteem and smoking in youth. Research has emphasized the need for ecological perspectives on health behaviours, for example, the context and meaning of cigarette smoking in young people's lives. Recent Scottish research, utilizing a range of methodologies, has examined the peer group context and smoking. The convergence of findings is striking. It would appear that different social groupings exist within the peer context, where these are tied to peer status and associated with distinctive lifestyle practices, and dispositions, including smoking.
In the case of self esteem and smoking the results from conventional, survey-based research have often been inconclusive, the suggestion being that global measures of self-esteem are insufficient, since feelings of self esteem are domain or context specific. However, the present study analyses survey data from two Scottish samples of 13-14-year-olds, conducted some 10 years apart, one national (n = 2100, 1987) and the other rural (n = 800, 1996) to show that even with the bluntest of research instruments, i.e. self report questionnaire survey data and general measures, it is possible to elaborate on the relationship between self-esteem and cigarette smoking in youth. (C) 1999 The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents.