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Addict Behav. 2011 Dec;36(12):1333-6. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2011.07.022. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

The role of smoking expectancies in the relationship between PTSD symptoms and smoking behavior among women exposed to intimate partner violence.

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Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06511, USA


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a public health problem associated with negative health consequences, including higher rates of tobacco smoking. Smoking expectancies are related to motivation to quit and relapse. IPV-exposed women endorse higher rates of PTSD symptoms, which are related to smoking and smoking expectancies. The present study sought to examine the relationship among smoking behavior, smoking expectancies, and PTSD symptoms among IPV-exposed women. Participants were 83 women who reported experiencing IPV within the last month, smoked an average of 12 cigarettes per day, and reported moderate levels of nicotine dependence (FTND mean=4.4). Participants completed baseline and follow-up interviews. Multiple regression analyses assessed the relationships among smoking expectancies and PTSD symptoms to cigarettes smoked per day and nicotine dependence. Findings demonstrated that Stimulation/State Enhancement expectancies were positively related to cigarettes per day, whereas PTSD arousal symptoms were negatively related to cigarettes per day, p's<.05. Neither smoking expectancies nor PTSD symptoms were significantly related to nicotine dependence. Supplemental analyses revealed that PTSD re-experiencing symptoms were negatively related and PTSD avoidance/numbing symptoms were positively related to Stimulation/State Enhancement expectancies, p's<.05. This study extends findings regarding the association between PTSD symptoms and smoking among an understudied population - IPV-exposed women. The relationship between PTSD symptoms and smoking differed across PTSD symptom clusters and expectancy scales, which may have implications for treatment development. The fact that expectancies and PTSD symptoms are related to smoking behavior among IPV-exposed women may be important for enhancing prevention and intervention efforts.

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