Reciprocal Effects of Self-efficacy and Mastery Experience During Smoking Cessation: a Daily Diary Study


  • U. Scholz
  • G. Stadler
  • S. Ochsner
  • N. Knoll
  • R. Hornung


Background: Self-efficacy beliefs and mastery experience are assumed to develop following a reciprocal relationship. So far, however, there is a lack of studies examining this reciprocity in everyday life during a behavior change episode at the intrapersonal level. Moreover, most studies focus on self-report only, facing potential problems with shared method variance. These points were addressed in the present study. Methods: Overall, 100 smokers and their non-smoking partners completed daily diaries during the self-set quit date and 21 days later assessing mastery, smoking-specific self-efficacy and partner-rated efficacy. Cross-lagged multilevel modelling was applied. Findings: Controlling for previous day mastery experience, previous days with higher than usual self-efficacy were followed by days with higher mastery. The same pattern of results emerged for self-efficacy as outcome. These results were fully replicated when partner-rated smoking-specific efficacy was used instead of smoker-reported self-efficacy. Discussion: This study provides evidence for the reciprocal association between self-efficacy and mastery during a behavior change episode in everyday life.