Emotion Dysregulation and Growth Curve of Withdrawal Symptoms during a Quit Attempt among Treatment-Seeking Smokers



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Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and withdrawal symptoms are central to the maintenance of tobacco use. Previous research suggests that individual differences in the propensity to experience negative affect may be related to more severe withdrawal symptoms. However, little research has examined how individual differences in the ability to regulate affect (emotion dysregulation) may impact withdrawal symptoms over time. Therefore, the current study examined the effects of emotion dysregulation on change in tobacco withdrawal symptoms over 12 weeks following a cigarette quit attempt among 188 treatment seeking smokers (Mage = 38.52, SD = 14.00, 46.8% male). Results from the study indicated greater emotion dysregulation was associated with greater quit day withdrawal symptoms as well as with as slower decline in withdrawal symptoms over the 12-week period (B = -0.001, SE = 0.0004, p = 0.006). The current study offers novel evidence into the role of emotion dysregulation in relation to withdrawal symptoms during a quit attempt. Assessing and reducing heightened emotion dysregulation prior to a quit attempt may be a potentially important therapeutic tactic for helping smokers achieve greater success in managing tobacco withdrawal.



Smoking, Emotion dysregulation