Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



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.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Amy Copeland



Included in

Psychology Commons