College student smokers' cognitive appraisal of high-risk activities

Document Type


Publication Date



OBJECTIVE: Students who smoke are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as binge drinking and unprotected sex (Schnieder and Morris, Environ Behav. 1999; 23:575-591). The goals of the present study were to determine whether smokers assess these behaviors as lower risk than nonsmokers, and if smoking rate influences risk perceptions. METHODS: Participants were 303 college students. Cognitive Appraisal of Risky Activities (Fromme et al., Cognit Ther Res. 1997; 21:421-442) and smoking were assessed August-November, 2006. RESULTS: Smokers reported significantly less risk, more benefit, and more involvement in risky behaviors than nonsmokers (p < .01). In hierarchical linear regression, risk perceptions moderated the association between smoking and (a) expected benefit from risky sexual behaviors (beta = -1.121, p < .05); and (b) expected involvement with illicit drugs (beta = -.313, p < .01). CONCLUSIONS: College smokers' assessment of high-risk behaviors influenced their intended involvement. Risk perception change may therefore alter their involvement in high-risk behaviors.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Journal of American college health : J of ACH

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.