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This study seeks to identify how rural adolescents make health decisions and utilize communication strategies to resist influence attempts in offers of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 113 adolescents from rural school districts to solicit information on ATOD norms, past ATOD experiences, and substance offer response episodes. Rural youths’ resistance strategies were similar to previous findings with urban adolescents – refuse, explain, avoid, and leave (the REAL typology) – while unique features of these strategies were identified including the importance of personal narratives, the articulation of a non-user identity, and being “accountable” to self and others.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Journal of Applied Communication Research, volume 39, issue 2, in 2011, available online at DOI: 10.1080/00909882.2011.556139.


Taylor & Francis



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