Situational fears: Association with negative affect-related smoking cognition among treatment seeking smokers

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Despite the consistent clinically-significant relation between smoking and anxiety and its disorders, there is limited understanding of how specific fears relate to smoking processes. To isolate therapeutic targets for smoking-anxiety treatment development, there is a need to identify the underlying situational fears most related to smoking processes. Thus, the present study examined the association between interoceptive, agoraphobic, and social fears in terms of clinically significant negative affect-related smoking cognitions including negative affect reduction expectancies, coping motives, and perceived internal barriers to cessation. Participants were 469 treatment seeking smokers (48.2% female, M = 36.59, SD = 13.58) enrolled in a smoking cessation trial and completed baseline measures of smoking cognitions and situational fears. Results indicated that the there was a significant effect for social fears, relative to interoceptive and agoraphobic fears, for each of the studied clinically relevant smoking variables. Overall, this study offers initial empirical evidence that social fears are significantly and consistently related to several clinically-significant types of smoking cognition.

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Addictive behaviors

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