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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Metacognitive processes in smoking cessation : applying lessons learned from obsessions Nosen, Elizabeth B. A.


Cognitive theories of obsessions propose that unwanted thoughts become frequent, intense and persistent when people interpret them in overly meaningful ways and attempt to control them using problematic strategies. The present study examined the generalizability of this model to another form of unwanted, actively resisted intrusion-nicotine cravings. In this investigation, 178 individuals attempting to quit smoking completed several online questionnaires. Most participants were female (70.2%) and between the ages of 20 and 64. Analyses revealed that individuals who appraised their cravings in more catastrophic and personally significant ways experienced more severe problems with craving-related thoughts and were more likely to be smoking one month later. Use of suppression, punishment or worry control strategies did not contribute appreciably. Overall, findings support the hypothesized role of appraisals of the meaning of unwanted thoughts in the development of problematic intrusions. Results also suggest that maladaptive appraisals may contribute to difficulties in smoking cessation over and above established cognitive factors.

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