An Analysis of Anxiety Vulnerability Models and Smoking Motivation
The relationship between anxiety vulnerability factors (AVFs) and cigarette smoking is currently unclear. The present work examined how two cognitive-based AVFs, looming cognitive style and anxiety sensitivity, related to smoking to reduce negative affect and motivation to quit smoking. As part of this work, a pilot measure was developed through Study One to assess how cognitive appraisal of smoking consequences may mediate the relationship between these AVFs and motivation to quit. The Looming Smoking Consequences Scale (LSCS) assessed smokers' perception that the consequences of smoking were growing over time. In Study One 124 daily smokers, who took part in an in-person and online study to develop a pilot measure, demonstrated that the LSCS had strong internal consistency and showed convergent validity with smokers' associated anxiety, general tendency to perceive threats as increasing, perception of smoking-related consequences as likely, and motivation to quit smoking. Study Two consisted of 143 online daily smokers, who were predominantly white males in early adulthood. While both anxiety sensitivity (r = .20) and looming cognitive style (r = .22) were directly related with motivation to smoke to reduce negative affect, neither independently predicted this motivation. Moreover, motivation to quit smoking was positively correlated with both anxiety sensitivity (r = .72-.74) and looming cognitive style (r = .51). However, only anxiety sensitivity predicted motivation to quit independently. In mediational analysis it was found that looming cognitive style's relationship to motivation to quit was completely mediated by smoking consequence appraisal. Anxiety sensitivity's relationship to motivation to quit smoking was partially mediated by smoking consequence appraisal. Specifically anxiety sensitivity's correspondence with motivation to quit smoking was independently mediated by likelihood estimates of smoking consequences in terms of how true reasons for quitting were. However, anxiety sensitivity's correspondence with motivation to quit was independently mediated by smokers' looming perception of smoking consequences in terms of how motivated smokers were to engage in smoking cessation treatment.