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Abstract

Using participants from an 1-and-1⁄2-year longitudinal study of smoking socialization (N = 709), we examined peer smoking, and implicit and explicit attitudes on smoking initiation among initial nonsmoking adolescents. We also tested whether implicit and explicit attitudes mediated the effect of peer smoking on smoking initiation, and whether implicit and explicit attitudes moderated the effect of peer smoking. Results suggest that peer smoking prospectively influenced both implicit and explicit attitudes about smoking, which in turn affected risk for smoking initiation. Peer smoking and implicit and explicit attitudes exerted noninteracting effects on risk for smoking. These findings suggest that peer-focused prevention programs that target only countering explicit messages may not address the more subtle positive associations toward smoking that peer affiliations create. Additionally, prevention programs focusing only on altering these verbal mes- sages that adolescents can report about smoking may be less effective than those addressing both explicit and implicit ideas.

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