Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Postmenopausal females continue to smoke despite considerable health risks related to low levels of estrogen in combination with antiestrogenic effects of nicotine. These females face barriers to cessation that are more severe than their male and pre-menopausal counterparts. These barriers include negative affect, weight concerns, and menopausal symptom severity. Brief motivation-based interventions (B-MIs) that incorporate individualized health-related feedback have demonstrated efficacy for smoking cessation, but have not been tested among postmenopausal females. The current study explored the effect of negative affect, weight concerns, and menopausal symptom severity on motivation and readiness to quit smoking, and the effectiveness of a B-MI to increase motivation and readiness to quit, among postmenopausal females. Eighteen postmenopausal smokers were randomized to receive B-MI (n=8) or control treatment (n=10). Participants completed measures of negative affect, weight concerns, and menopausal symptoms, as well as measures of motivation, readiness and self-efficacy to quit at pre- and post-treatment. Motivation and readiness to quit were reassessed one week following treatment, to test the stability of treatment effects. At baseline, weight concerns, specifically surrounding smoking to prevent overeating, were identified as related to increased motivation to quit smoking. Menopausal symptoms severity, specifically somatic symptoms, assessed at baseline, was associated with increased readiness for cessation. B-MI did not increase motivation, readiness or self-efficacy to quit; however, results indicate that motivation and readiness to quit increased over time and cigarettes per day decreased from baseline to follow-up by approximately 20-30%, despite no treatment group differences observed. These results provide valuable insight into enhancing engagement in a cessation treatment among this population. Future research recommendations are discussed.



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Committee Chair

Copeland, Amy L.

Available for download on Saturday, February 23, 2019

Included in

Psychology Commons