This paper draws from a qualitative study of tobacco use by young women in Toronto, Canada. Narrative interviews were used to understand the multiple roles and functions of smoking within the everyday lives of female adolescents. Guided by a Bourdieusian theoretical framework this study employed the core construct of cultural capital in order to position tobacco and other substance use as field-specific capital that young women accumulate while navigating the social worlds of adolescence. Departing from the psychosocial or peer-influence models that inform the majority of tobacco research with young people, this analysis provides a nuanced understanding of how smoking, drinking, using drugs are much more than simple forms of teenage experimentation or rebellion, but can also serve as key resources for defining the self, acquiring status and making social distinctions within adolescent social worlds. In this context it is also argued that initiation into substance use practices is a way that young women demonstrate and develop social and cultural competencies.
The Heart Transplant Mentor Programme (HTMP) was initiated to augment patient care by providing patients and families with information and support from a peer perspective. We assessed program effectiveness with a pilot study of semi-structured interviews of 63% (10/16) of the mentored patients and an open-ended inquiry that rated the program on a 5-point scale (1, poor, to 5, excellent) and that selected descriptors of the program. Qualitative and quantitative analyses indicated that participants found the information and support provided by their mentors positive (3.8 and 4.0, respectively), discussion focused on medical rather than psychosocial topics, pre-transplant dissatisfaction with the program was caused by late or little mentor contact, and post-transplant dissatisfaction was attributed to difference in clinical course between mentor and patient. Although findings indicate that HTMP augments patient care, recommendations to increase patient satisfaction include earlier introduction of a mentor and individualizing mentors according to demographics and clinical course.
In this paper we report on findings from a qualitative study of marijuana use by adolescents in two communities in British Columbia, Canada. During 2005 and 2006, 45 interviews were carried out at schools with students aged 13-18, with an aim of understanding how adolescents perceive their experiences with marijuana to be shaped by gender. While it has been established that patterns of use differ for girls and boys, there is relatively little qualitative research addressing marijuana smoking as gendered social practice. Drawing from contemporary social theories of gender our analysis explores the normative functions of gender discourse within adolescents' narratives, situating their descriptions of marijuana use within the context of the research interview and within the social contexts of drug use. The results highlight the challenges we encountered in asking about gender during one-to-one interviews, juxtaposed with examples from the narratives that illustrate how boys and girls use marijuana as a way of "doing" gender. To conclude, we suggest how our findings can inform the design of gender-specific health messaging on adolescent marijuana use.
In this article we consider young adults' photo-narratives about smoking and quitting and their linkages to themes of healthy lifestyles and the culture of place in Vancouver, Canada. Drawing from a pilot study using participant-driven photography with a group of twelve young women and men ages nineteen to twenty-six, participants' visual and narrative representations of being a smoker and the process of quitting smoking were analyzed. Findings suggest "healthy lifestyle" imperatives within the Vancouver context may be productive for facilitating cessation, but may also have exclusionary effects.