In 2014 2.5% of middle school students and 9.2% of high school students reported smoking cigarettes in the past 30 days (CDC, 2014). However, there is currently a lack of evidence-based programs targeting prevention of adolescent smoking. The current study evaluated the effectiveness of a novel web-based adolescent smoking prevention program, the Adolescent Smoking Prevention Project (ASPP), based on the sensitization-homeostasis theory of nicotine dependence and developed by the study investigators. A sample of 54 adolescents (aged 12-15) were recruited from public schools in Southern California. Of these adolescents 26 were randomly assigned to the ASPP program and 28 were randomly assigned to the control group. Results of two-way ANOVAs indicated that the intervention group endorsed greater positive smoking expectancies compared to the control group. Results of hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses indicated that resistance self-efficacy significantly predicted participants’ willingness to try a cigarette if offered and to refuse an offer of a cigarette. Furthermore, both negative social impressions and negative affect reduction expectancies significantly predicted participants’ willingness to leave the situation if offered a cigarette. Gender, resistance self-efficacy and social facilitation outcome expectancies (OEs) significantly predicted participants’ intentions to smoke in the future. These results suggest that positive smoking expectancies and benefits need to be targeted in prevention/intervention efforts in order to reduce adolescents’ susceptibility to smoking. When designing smoking prevention programs, content should target multiple factors in order to have a significant impact on smoking behavior of adolescents. Future research should continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the ASPP intervention in order to determine whether this innovative approach to addiction education and smoking prevention is effective and should be more widely disseminated.

LLU Discipline

Clinical Psychology




School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Morrell, Holly E. R.

Second Advisor

D'Errico, Ellen D.

Third Advisor

Neece, Cameron

Fourth Advisor

Schellinger, Kriston

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Youth -- Tobacco use -- Prevention; Smoking -- Psychological aspects; Health behavior in adolescence; Smoking -- prevention & control -- Adolescent; Adolescent psychology

Subject - Local

Smoking Prevention Programs; Adolescents; Sensitization-homeostasis theory; Regression analysis; Social facilitation outcome expectancy



Page Count


Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives