Title page for ETD etd-11112008-114140

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Stewart, Diana Williams
Author's Email Address dstewa6@lsu.edu
URN etd-11112008-114140
Title Predictors of Social Support Provided to Smokers
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Amy Copeland Committee Chair
Alex Cohen Committee Member
Kevin Grobman Committee Member
  • attributions
  • social support
  • smoking cessation
Date of Defense 2008-11-07
Availability unrestricted
Over 20% of adults in the U.S. presently smoke cigarettes. The highest rates (28.5%) are among 18-24 year-olds. Therefore, cessation interventions targeting young adults are needed. Cessation efforts and maintained abstinence in smokers have been associated with positive social support from others (i.e., “support persons”) throughout the cessation process. Support persons' attributions about smokers may affect the consistency and amount of support they provide to a smoker during a cessation attempt. The present investigation addressed the relationship between support persons' attribution style and the quality and quantity of support they provided to smokers. College students (N=244) were asked to identify a smoker about whom they were concerned, to report demographic and smoking background information about themselves and the identified smoker, nicotine dependence, perceived positive and negative social support provided, and attributions about their identified smokers' smoking habits. Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) predicting gender, smoking status (p < .10), relationship type (romantic vs. platonic; p < .10), and cohabitating status as the factors indicated nonsignificant trends in differences in amount and quality of social support provided. Those romantically involved with their smokers tended to report providing significantly more positive (p < .05) and marginally less negative support (p < .10) than their respective counterparts. Compared to never-smokers, smokers and ex-smokers provided marginally more negative support (p < .10). Regression analyses revealed that external attributions did not predict self-reported positive support and internal attributions did not predict negative support. These findings suggest the importance of relationship factors in the cessation process and highlight the need for future research in this area.
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