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

Patricia Collins, Moira Maguire, Lindsay O'Dell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-652
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • own smoking, Q-methodology, representations, smokers


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