Research note: Smoking and drinking as psychological tools in stressful social situations: Assumptions of fiction writers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The paper reports a study of one potential source of information concerning use and effectiveness of alcohol and cigarettes, which may facilitate habit formation through social learning. A total of 250 episodes from contemporary books of fiction involving either smoking or drinking were analyzed according to various situational and psychological variables characterizing them, including the context, motives preceding consumption, and effects. It was found that smoking and drinking occurred most often in social situations in which intense negative emotions were aroused. The behavioral and emotional consequences of consumption were usually positive. It is suggested that writers tend to attribute to smoking and drinking two main functions: facilitation of skilled performance (either social, cognitive, or technical) and service as psychological tools for coping with emotionally stressful situations. Smoking and drinking occurring in stressful situations, furthermore, are often portrayed as acts of drug prescription, either by the self or by other people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-1123
Number of pages5
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Volume21
Issue number9-10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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