Smokers' representations of their own smoking: A Q-methodological study

Collins, Patricia; Maguire, Moria and O'Dell, Lindsay (2002). Smokers' representations of their own smoking: A Q-methodological study. Journal of Health Psychology, 7(6) pp. 641–652.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105302007006868

Abstract

Little work has addressed how smokers represent their own smoking rather than smoking in general. Research has identified a huge number of variables that contribute to smoking, yet not much is known about how smokers 'make sense' of these and construct explanations of the factors that contribute to their own smoking. This study used Q-methodology to investigate smokers' own representations of their smoking behaviour. Analysis revealed four main factors: smoking as a social tool; the dual identity smoker; reactionary smoking; and smoking as a social event. We argue that an understanding of the diversity of smokers' representations and explanations of their own smoking could play a useful role in developing more effective targeted interventions.

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