Cigarette smoking among young adults: Integrating adolescent cognitive egocentrism with the trans-theoretical model
Taylor & Francis
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science
Personal fable aspects of adolescent cognitive egocentrism reflected in individuals' beliefs of omnipotence, invulnerability, and uniqueness, were examined in relation to cigarette smoking and stage of change status. A component of the Trans-Theoretical Model (TTM) of behaviour change, the stages of change maintain that current smokers consist of two groups – those who prefer to disregard the disincentives of smoking (pre-contemplators) and those who recognise these disincentives (contemplators). A Stages of Change Scale and the New Personal Fable Scale (NPFS) were administered to 249 university students aged 17 to 25 (M = 19.09 years, SD = 2.00). Pre-contemplative smokers had higher scores on the omnipotence subscale of the NPFS than contemplative smokers, suggesting that this personal fable could obstruct forward stage of change movement. Ex-smokers also had higher scores on the omnipotence and invulnerability subscales of the NPFS than individuals who have never smoked. Together, the findings suggest personal fable ideation is a salient smoking cessation variable and current conceptualisations of this construct need to be re-examined. Further, these results might explain the ineffectiveness of interventions underpinned by the TTM among adolescents. To extend the findings, prospective research is recommended.