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Rigid and Flexible Styles of Smoking Restraint

Scharf, Deborah Miriam (2009) Rigid and Flexible Styles of Smoking Restraint. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Some smokers may compromise between continuing to smoke and quitting by limiting or restraining the amount that they smoke. While the effects of smoking restraint on behavior are unknown, eating restraint is well-investigated. The effects of eating restraint depend on eaters' approaches to the task of eating less: a rigid restraint style (dichotomous, "all or nothing" approach to self-imposed limits) is associated with unsuccessful eating regulation while a flexible restraint style (a plan to eat more on one day and less on the next) is associated with regulatory success. In the laboratory, when eaters are induced to overeat (i.e., preloaded with food), flexibly restrained eaters compensate by subsequently eating less while rigidly restrained eaters do not. In this study, we sought to determine if rigid and flexible restraint styles were similarly related to outcomes of attempts to limit smoking, both in and out of the lab. Methods: Participants were daily smokers (15-20 CPD) who wanted to limit their smoking. Participants underwent an experimental restraint style manipulation (rigid or flexible) and then limited their smoking for one week. N=95 participants then completed a smoking preload taste-test that challenged limits on consumption. Unlike studies of eating behavior, results did not support a relationship between restraint style and smoking outside of the laboratory. In the laboratory, findings were consistent with research on dietary restraint. A nearly-significant restraint style X preload interaction predicted total tasting F(1,83)=3.72, p=0.06: flexibly restrained smokers down-regulated their smoking after the preload while rigidly restrained smokers did not (27% vs. -7% compensation, respectively). Results were similar when participants' were grouped by their reactions to the preload: Participants who perceived rules about "acceptable" consumption intact following the preload ("flexible" reaction) down-regulated their smoking while participants who perceived rules violated ("rigid" reaction) did not (24% vs. 1% compensation, respectively). Like eating, the effects of restraint on smoking depend on smokers' approaches to the challenge of smoking less - at least in the laboratory. The causal association between induced restraint style and smoking regulation in the lab suggests the importance of extending this effect to smoking in participants' natural environments.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Scharf, Deborah Miriamdms122@pitt.eduDMS122
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairShiffman, Saulshiffman@pitt.eduSHIFFMAN
Committee MemberMarcus,
Committee MemberSayette, Michaelsayette@pitt.eduSAYETTE
Committee MemberChandra, Siddharthschandra@pitt.eduSCHANDRA
Committee MemberKlein, William Mwmklein@pitt.eduWMKLEIN
Date: 1 October 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 29 July 2009
Approval Date: 1 October 2009
Submission Date: 6 August 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: preload pretreatment regulation nicotine dietary
Other ID:, etd-08062009-170559
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:57
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:48


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