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Nicotine Tob Res. 2010 Apr;12(4):381-9. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntq014. Epub 2010 Feb 18.

Relationships of personality and psychiatric disorders to multiple domains of smoking motives and dependence in middle-aged adults.

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Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University, Box G-S121-5, Providence, RI 02912, USA.



Individual differences in psychopathology and personality may associate with dependence on smoking for specific motivational reasons. However, the associations among psychopathology, personality, and smoking dependence and motives have not been examined simultaneously in studies to date, leaving it unclear whether specific patterns of affective and behavioral functioning are associated with specific aspects of smoking dependence.


The present study examined these associations in 296 current smokers aged 35-43 years. Smoking dependence and motives were assessed with structured interview, the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence, and the Wisconsin Inventory of Smoking Dependence Motives.


Regardless of the measure of smoking dependence tested, a lifetime history of major depression and high levels of trait stress reaction were consistently related to greater current smoking dependence severity. Substance dependence showed significant associations with some measures of smoking dependence but had relatively few effects when entered in models along with depression history and trait stress reaction. In multivariate models, alcohol dependence and conduct disorder history did not show unique significant associations with smoking dependence nor did trait aggression, alienation, control, or harm avoidance.


Results indicate little specificity in the associations of particular psychiatric diagnoses or personality traits with specific self-reported facets of smoking dependence. It appears that a general vulnerability to depression and negative emotions is the most robust indicator of vulnerability to high levels of self-reported smoking dependence, regardless of which dimensions of smoking dependence are analyzed.

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