Birds of a feather flock together: Examining the role of music preferences and peer influences on e-cigarette use among adolescents
LEE, Kris Jungwoo
Category: Social Science
Abstract – Several studies have reported an association between music preferences and adolescent substance use. However, despite being illegal, e-cigarette usage has increased exponentially among adolescents. To address the effect of this new form of substance misuse among adolescents, the present study utilized an integrated approach to understand the social and personal mechanisms influencing the relationship between music preferences and adolescent e-cigarette use. In Study 1, two qualitative focus group interviews were conducted with 3 adolescents each, aged 17 years, to understand the personal and social traits of vaping and non-vaping adolescents, and to identify their music preferences. To verify the findings of Study 1 in a larger sample of adolescents, Study 2 entailed a questionnaire survey with 22, 17-year-old students from an international school in Korea. The survey aimed to gather information on social and personal characteristics, as well as music preferences of vapers and non-vapers. This integrated study revealed the relationship between adolescents’ music preferences and e-cigarette usage from the perspectives of social influence and personal behavior. Adolescent e-cigarette users exhibited a tendency to seek novel sensations and to engage in social sharing in both music and substance usage. These findings offer some explanations for the marked increase in e-cigarette usage among adolescents. This understanding could be used for further in-depth research, and to identify methods to prevent and reduce substance use in this population.