International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy
  

Volume 16 Num. 2 - June 2016

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Smoking Self-quitting and Psychological Flexibility

Volume 16 Num. 2 - June 2016 - Pages 111-130

Authors:

Jesús Gil Roales-Nieto , Emilio Moreno San Pedro , Rodrigo Córdoba García, , Bartolomé Marín Romero , Francisca Rosa Jiménez López , Ana Gil Luciano, , Agustina Silvano Arranz , Isabel Rosario Fernández Lao, , Genoveva Granados Gámez , Mónica Hernández-López

Abstract:

The prevalence of smoking in the general population remains high in spite of the extended acknowledgement of the well-documented health consequences of smoking and potential benefits of quitting. Only a minority of smokers who attempt to quit seeks professional treatment, yet most of the research on smoking cessation focuses on such form of quitting. Research on self-quitting is scarce, although most smokers who successfully quit, do so on their own. Recently, research has evidenced that psychological flexibility, a core concept in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, is an important variable in predicting successful behavioral change in many clinically relevant areas. The goal of this study was to analyze the relationship between psychological flexibility and successful self-quitting from smoking. 277 participants who had attempted to quit on their own (217 successfully abstinent and 60 still smoking) provided information on their smoking history, quit attempts, nicotine dependence, and demographics, and were assessed with the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II. Abstinence status was measured through self-reports of continuous abstinence and confirmed by concentrations of expired carbon monoxide below 8 ppm. Results show a statistically significant difference (t= -8,775; p <.01) for the AAQ-II scores of successful (M= 18.39, SD= 7.76) and unsuccessful self-quitters (M= 27.17; SD= 6.88). Only 26% participants with high level of psychological inflexibility quitted successfully, compared to 94% participants with low levels of psychological inflexibility. These results show clear evidence that psychological flexibility is associated to successful self-quitting, and suggest that this variable could facilitate success in attempts to stop smoking without professional help. Implications and limitations of this study are discussed.

Key words:

psychological flexibility, smoking self-quitting

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