Who am I? The role of self-conflict in adolescents' responses to cigarette advertising

William G. Shadel, Raymond Niaura, David B. Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cigarette advertising may be partly responsible for adolescent smoking initiation, but few studies have investigated the advertising and individual difference factors that may be responsible. This study evaluated whether individual differences in the number of self-conflicts (i.e., conflicts between personality attributes experienced as part of self-concept development) interacts with stage of development (early versus middle adolescence) to predict responses to cigarette advertising imagery. One hundred and one never smoking adolescents judged the self-relevance of various cigarette advertisements. As predicted, self-conflict was related to judgments of self-relevance for early adolescents only: early adolescents who are having the most difficulty defining themselves are more likely to look to the powerful images displayed by cigarette advertisements for help. These results have implications for understanding the impact of cigarette advertising on smoking initiation for some adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-475
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • Adolescence
  • Cigarette advertising
  • Individual differences
  • Self-concept
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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