The Effects of Warning Smokers on Perceived Risk, Worry, and Motivation to Quit
- 407 Downloads
Research concerning motives for smoking cessation has focused on beliefs (cognitions) that people have, especially risk perceptions, with less attention directed to worry (negative affect) concerning one’s smoking.
We tested a manipulation to encourage smokers to think and worry more about their smoking behavior. We contrasted risk perceptions and worry as predictors of contemplation to quit smoking.
Smokers were randomly assigned to two conditions in which they carried personal digital assistants for 2 weeks. When signaled, smokers read smoking consequence statements or daily hassle statements.
After 2 weeks, experimental smokers reported greater perceived risk and worry about developing a medical condition compared to control smokers. Both perceived risk and worry independently mediated the relationship between the experimental manipulation and increased contemplation to quit smoking; however, worry was the strongest mediator in a multiple mediation model.
Worry may be foremost for motivating smokers to attempt quitting.
KeywordsSmoking Smokers Motivation to quit Worry about smoking Perceived risk
We wish to thank Lindsay Anderson for her help with interviews and Kit O’Neill and Ross Crosby for their help with procedures. Renee Magnan is now at the University of New Mexico and Desiree Zielke is now at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis. Work on this paper was supported by grants K05 CA92633 and R21 CA098962 from the National Cancer Institute to the fourth author.
- 13.Romer D, Jamieson P. The role of perceived risk in starting and stopping smoking. In: Slovic P, ed. Smoking: Risk, Perception, & Policy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; 2001: 64–80.Google Scholar
- 16.Cameron LD. Screening for cancer: Illness perceptions and illness worry. In: Petrie KJ, Weinman JA, eds. Perceptions of Health and Illness: Current Research and Applications. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Harwood Academic; 1997: 291–322.Google Scholar
- 20.Slovic P. Cigarette smokers: Rational actors or rational fools? In: Slovic P, ed. Smoking: Risk, Perception, & Policy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; 2001: 97–124.Google Scholar
- 26.McCaul KD, Mullens AB. Affect, thought, and self-protective health behavior: The case of worry and cancer screening. In: Suls J, Wallston KA, eds. Social Psychological Foundations of Health and Illness. Malden, MA: Blackwell; 2003: 137–168.Google Scholar
- 32.Zvolesnky MJ, Baker JM, Leen-Feldner E, Bonn-Miller MO, Feldner MT, Brown RA. Anxiety sensitivity: Association with intensity of retrospectively rated smoking-related withdrawal symptoms and motivation to quit. Cogn Behav Ther. 2003; 32: 114–125.Google Scholar
- 35.Linville PW, Fischer GW, Fischhoff B. AIDS risk perceptions and decision biases. In: Pryor JB, Reeder GD, eds. The Social Psychology of HIV Infection. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum; 1993: 5–38.Google Scholar
- 49.Köblitz AR, Magnan RE, McCaul KD, Dillard AJ, O’Neill HK, Crosby R. Smokers thoughts and worries: A study using ecological momentary assessment. Health Psychol. 2009; in press.Google Scholar
- 52.Sobel ME. Asymptotic confidence intervals for indirect effects in structural equation models. In: Leinhardt S, ed. Sociological Methodology, 1982. Washington, DC: American Sociological Association; 1982: 290–312.Google Scholar
- 54.Preacher KJ, Hayes AF. SPSS and SAS procedures for estimating indirect effects in simple mediation models. Behav Res Methods. 2004; 36: 717–731.Google Scholar