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Self-efficacy with application to adolescent smoking cessation: a concept analysis


R. Heale: e-mail:


Title. Self-efficacy with application to adolescent smoking cessation: a concept analysis.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a concept analysis of adolescent smoking cessation self-efficacy.

Background.  Smoking cessation is a key preventive care/health promotion strategy offered by nurses worldwide. Most programming is tailored to adults although the reasons for smoking, along with coping strategies, resources and developmental stage, differ in adolescence. Understanding of the concept of self-efficacy as it relates to the adolescent population will assist nurses in addressing smoking cessation behaviours with this population.

Data sources.  The CINAHL and Proquest Nursing databases were searched for papers published between 1977 and 2007 using the keywords self-efficacy, adolescents and smoking cessation. The Walker and Avant method of concept analysis was applied.

Findings.  Adolescent smoking cessation self-efficacy is the confidence, perceived capacity and perceived ability that the teen possesses to quit smoking. Identified antecedents include developmental stage, past life support, emotional support, coping strategies, resources and emotional status. Consequences are smoking cessation: positive or negative. Empirical measures are identified.

Conclusion.  Levels of self-efficacy have been shown to be an important consideration in the approach of nurses to smoking cessation counselling with the adolescent client. The theoretical definition for this concept will provide the basis for nurses to design appropriate interventions for use in smoking cessation programmes targeted to adolescents. This definition identifies the key attributes of this concept that should be addressed when caring for this population.