Factors Associated with Tobacco Use among Iranian Adolescents: An Application of Protection Motivation Theory.Subst Use Misuse 2018; 53(9):1511-1518SU
Tobacco use is a significant predisposing factor to many diseases. Protection motivation theory is a well-suited theory, since fear can motivate individuals to change their unhealthy behaviors.
This study was conducted to examine the associations between the constructs of this theory with intention and tobacco use behavior.
The present cross-sectional study was conducted in Noshahr, Iran. The participants were 440 high school boys selected using a stratified random sampling in 2016. A questionnaire about tobacco use based on protection motivation theory was developed and its validity and reliability were assessed. The questionnaire included the demographic information, the constructs of theory, and tobacco use behavior. Structural equation modeling was used to test the associations between the constructs with intention and tobacco use.
The variables of perceived vulnerability (β = 0/137, P < 0.001), fear (β = 0/149, P < 0.001), self-efficacy (β = 0/249, P < 0.001), perceived intrinsic reward (β = -0.285, P < 0.001), threat appraisal (β = -0.25, P < 0.001), and coping appraisal (β = 0.358, P < 0.001) had direct effect and are significant with intention. Moreover, perceived vulnerability (β = -0.158, P < 0.001), fear (β = -0.172, P < 0.001), self-efficacy (β = -0.288, P < 0.001), perceived intrinsic reward (β = 0.329, P < 0.001), threat appraisal (β = 0.265, P < 0.001), and coping appraisal (β = -0.379, P < 0.001) affected tobacco use indirectly through intention and were significantly associated with behavior. Also, intention had direct effect and is significant with tobacco use (β = -1.156, P < 0.001).
The protection motivation theory provides a useful framework for investigating factors of tobacco use among male students. Future tobacco prevention interventions should focus on increasing the vulnerability and fear, decreasing intrinsic reward, and improving self-efficacy to reduce tobacco use.