The influence of trait-anxiety and outcome expectancies on tobacco consumption

  • A.M. Annoni
  • G. Andrea
  • L. Pancani
  • M. D'addario
  • P. Steca


Background: Tobacco addiction is complex phenomenon and it is the result of the interaction between personality and cognitive factors. Trait anxiety and outcome expectancies (i.e., positive and negative consequences that could occur after quitting smoking) could be both effective in predicting tobacco addiction. The main aim of this longitudinal study was to investigate the influence of trait anxiety and quitting-smoking expectancies on tobacco consumption in a group of young smokers. Methods: A sample of 185 smokers (131 women; mean age=24.44, ds=4.18) completed a self-reported questionnaire at three time points, a baseline assessment and two follow-ups at 3 and 9 months. The questionnaire included measures of trait anxiety, positive and negative outcome expectancies and daily cigarettes consumption. Path-analysis models were employed to explore relationships among constructs. Findings: The results showed that positive expectancies associated to quitting smoking did not reduce the daily tobacco consumption at any time point. On the contrary, negative expectancies associated to quitting smoking played a significant role in increasing smoking behavior, and a nonlinear relationship between trait anxiety and tobacco addiction was found. Furthermore, higher levels in trait anxiety were related with the perception of more negative consequences and with more cigarettes smoked per day. The final model fit the data adequately: (20) = 40.542, p = .004; CFI = .967; TLI = .945; RMSEA = .075. Discussion: The nonlinear relationships between trait anxiety and tobacco addiction, as well as the negative expectancies’ role, could improve the understanding of the decisional processes involved in quitting smoking.
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