A stage analysis of self-initiated smoking reductions.
Most smoking cessation treatments are predicated on the assumption that the course of smoking reduction is psychologically homogeneous. The present study tested an alternative model incorporating three distinct stages: initial decision, initial control, and maintenance. Three measures (perceived health locus of control, desire to stop, and self-esteem) were used to predict self-initiated smoking reduction in 61 regular smokers. Criterion smoking change measures (one for each stage) were obtained at follow-up. Multiple regression analyses of the criteria showed a different set of predictors were significant for each: desire to stop predicted the decision to reduce smoking, self-esteem predicted initial smoking reduction, and the combination of internal health locus of control beliefs and strong desire to stop predicted successful maintenance of reduction. The differential success across criteria of the predictors shows the value of the stage analysis and suggests the development of smoking treatments varying by stage.
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