Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Recent research has shown that body image stimuli increase negative affect and smoking urges among female smokers. Mindfulness (paying attention to present-moment experience with an attitude of nonjudgmental acceptance) may be a useful technique to minimize the influence of body image issues on negative affect, smoking urges, and smoking behavior. The present study investigated whether mindfulness can influence the way female college smokers respond to a body image challenge. The study used a 2 x 2 factorial design with body image challenge (trying on a bathing suit vs. observing a purse) crossed with instructions (mindfulness vs. silence). Female smokers (n = 64) were randomly assigned to one of 4 conditions: Purse + Control (n = 16), Body Image + Control (n = 15), Purse + Mindfulness (n = 15), and Body Image + Mindfulness (n = 18). Participants had a mean age of 20.03 (±1.77) and were 87.5% Caucasian. There were significant interactions indicating that self-reported state mindfulness increased for those who listened to mindfulness instructions versus silence. In addition, participants receiving the mindfulness intervention did not show significant increases in weight dissatisfaction and negative affect associated with trying on a bathing suit, versus participants in the silent condition. Experimental groups did not differ in self-reported urges to smoke or likelihood of accepting the experimenter’s offer to smoke directly after the session. However, among participants who tried on a bathing suit, those who received mindfulness instructions reported that they planned to wait longer to smoke. Furthermore, mindfulness moderated the relationship between negative affect and smoking urges, such that among participants who received the mindfulness instructions, negative affect was not related to smoking urges. The results provide preliminary support for the use of mindfulness-based treatments for female smokers in coping with body image concerns.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Copeland, Amy L.



Included in

Psychology Commons