Effects of Media and Social Standing on Smoking Behaviors among Adolescents in China

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Public Health Education and Promotion | Social Media | Social Psychology and Interaction | Substance Abuse and Addiction


Many studies have documented associations between peer influences and smoking among US and Chinese adolescents. Few studies, however, have shown how these influences occur in relation to adolescents' positions in their social networks. Social media channels such as online social networking and text messaging extend adolescents' networks and sphere of influence. This study examines the interplay between social media channels, peer influences, and smoking outcomes. Data were collected from 6,073 students from 24 high schools in Chengdu, China. Multilevel models suggest that mobile phone use (AOR = 1.45, p < .0001) and social Internet activity are risk factors for smoking (AOR = 1.18, p = .002), whereas informational Internet activity is protective (AOR = 0.87, p = .038). High social status was also positively associated with smoking (AOR = 1.16, p = .001), whereas the relationship with smoking intentions was moderated by mobile phone use (AOR = 1.11, p = .013). Findings suggest that media usage and social standing may have differential effects on smoking and other risky adolescent behaviors.

Rights Information

© 2012 Taylor & Francis, Ltd.