Date of Award

Spring 5-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Health Psychology

Committee Director

James M. Henson

Committee Member

Erin Moore

Committee Member

Michelle Kelley


Despite low rates of combustible tobacco use rates among adolescents and young adults, e-cigarettes continue to gain popularity. A few factors have been shown to be related to e-cigarette use based on prior research. One such example is social enhancement expectancies. Additionally, greater perceptions of harm have been found to be inversely related to e-cigarette use such that those that expect increased risk to their health are less likely to report using e-cigarettes. I hypothesized that social enhancement expectancies would mediate the relationship between perceptions of social norms and e-cigarette dependence. I also hypothesized that perceived harm, such as greater perceived health risks, would moderate the indirect effect of perceived social norms and e-cigarette dependence. The same analyses were also examined with a dichotomous e-cigarette user status outcome variable. E-cigarette use status was determined based on past 30- day use of e-cigarettes. Analyses revealed that injunctive norms emerged as a significant predictor of both positive social outcome expectancies and e-cigarette user status. Perceived harm was also found to be a significant predictor of e-cigarette dependence. Further exploration of within group differences among e-cigarette users may be warranted in order to develop an intervention strategy tailored to this group.


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