The nicotine dependence and susceptibility to stress perception, impulsivity and depression.
The presented study investigated the role that several variables, viewed separately, may play in terms of levels of nicotine dependence. Sixty participants were engaged in the study. Twenty- four were non-smokers the remaining thirty six were smokers, with different levels of addiction, from strong to very weak. The above specified sample of participants, completed few questionnaires: Cohen’s (Cohen, Kamarck and Mermelstein, 1983) stress perception scale, Goldberg’s (1993) depression questionnaire, and Barratt’s (Patton, Stanford and Barratt, 1985) impulsivity scale. Additionally smokers received Fagerstrom’s (Heatherton, Kozlowski, Frecker and Fagerström, 1991) nicotine dependence scale to fill in on the first place, to measure their level of addiction. The results were measured using multiple regression which would check the relationship between dependent variable- smoking and all three independent variables (stress perception, impulsivity and depression). The results were surprisingly only partially significant. Findings supported the hypothesis that stress perception as well as impulsivity could be good nicotine dependence predictors. The age was, as expected found non- significant predictor. However results concerning depression did not support findings from other studies. Depression therefore was found not to be mediator significantly influencing smoking addiction. Those several predictors and the strength of their mediation on nicotine dependence, as well as the implications of those findings are presented in more details below.
Studies concerning all types of addictions, and reasons for their more often occurrences seem to be increasing in number nowadays. There were many motives found by researchers, which would reasonably, in a sense, explain smoking dependence. Russell, Peto, and Patel (1974) found that people tend to smoke, or increase level of smoking when experiencing some specific emotional states, like stress, sadness, or anger.
Recent statistics from period between 2005- 2008 by National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in United States (Pratt and Brody, 2010), show that people suffering from depression, are twice more likely to be smokers than healthy adults. Depressed adults were also found to be much less likely to quit, and more likely to be heavier smokers than healthy survey participants. Smoking dependence was also found to be related with impulsivity. Nevertheless this findings concerning depression did not found the confirmation in study presented. Another trait that this study looked at was regarding of the impulsivity as the smoking predictor. According to study by Spillane, Smith, and Kahler (2010) impulsivity, or more specifically sensation seeking is positively correlated with smoking. Moreover impulsivity, which includes all five different aspects, is believed in the mentioned above study, to explain 28% of variance of nicotine dependence. Again looking at the stress relation with smoking Gilbert and McClernon (2000) found that some people that are addicted to cigarettes tend to have a specific gene that make them be more prone to stress and to have greater difficulties with mood control coordination. Authors found that smokers when asked for reasons of smoking they have a very high tendency to motivate it by stress reduction improvement and along with that much more positive mood. The main focus of the presented study will be around the relationship between three independent variables, those being: stress perception, impulsivity or in other words sensation seeking, depression and the dependent variable- smoking dependence. The independent variables are believed to be mediators of this relationship. It was hypothesised that smoking dependence would be mediated by depression, impulsivity and stress.
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