Examining the relationships between posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, positive smoking outcome expectancies, and cigarette smoking in people with substance use disorders: a multiple mediator model

Bryce Hruska, Jennifer Bernier, Frank Kenner, Deric R Kenne, Alec P Boros, Christopher J Richardson, Douglas L Delahanty
Addictive Behaviors 2014, 39 (1): 273-81
Cigarette smoking is highly prevalent in people with substance use disorders (SUDs) and is associated with significant physical health problems. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is also highly associated with both SUDs and cigarette smoking and may serve as a barrier to smoking cessation efforts. In addition, people with PTSD are more likely to hold positive smoking outcome expectancies (i.e., beliefs that smoking cigarettes results in positive outcomes); these beliefs may contribute to cigarette smoking in people with SUDs experiencing PTSD symptoms. The present study examined the relationship between PTSD symptoms and typical daily cigarette smoking/cigarette dependence symptoms in a sample of 227 trauma-exposed current smokers with SUDs (59.9% male, 89.4% Caucasian) seeking detoxification treatment services. Additionally, the indirect effects of multiple types of positive smoking outcome expectancies on these relationships were examined. Participants completed questionnaires assessing PTSD symptoms, positive smoking outcome expectancies, cigarette consumption, and cigarette dependence symptoms. Results indicated that PTSD symptoms were not directly related to cigarette consumption or cigarette dependence symptoms. However, negative affect reduction outcome expectancies were shown to have a significant indirect effect between PTSD symptoms and cigarette consumption, while negative affect reduction, boredom reduction, and taste-sensorimotor manipulation outcome expectancies were all found to have significant indirect effects between PTSD symptoms and cigarette dependence symptoms. The indirect effect involving negative affect reduction outcome expectancies was statistically larger than that of taste sensorimotor manipulation outcome expectancies, while negative affect reduction and boredom reduction outcome expectancies were comparable in magnitude. These results suggest that expectancies that smoking can manage negative affective experiences are related to cigarette smoking in people with SUDs experiencing PTSD symptoms and suggest that effective smoking cessation treatments should take into account these expectancies.

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