Saunders, Rebecca (2018) Goal-directed tobacco seeking: a study examining the impact of stress and other factors on smoking behaviour. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The aim of this research was to assess the impact of the amount smoked, mental health status and perceived loneliness level in regards to the influence on smoking behaviour and the type of smoker an individual is (daily or recreational). Individuals were exposed to either a stressful or non-stressful cold pressor task (CPT) and measures assessing them on a variety of factors including the amount of cigarettes they smoke per day and their anxiety, depression and loneliness levels. Participants completed several questionnaires, a two-part concurrent choice task and a CPT, these were then analysed using correlational and ANCOVA analyses. The results suggest the amount of cigarettes smoked per day has a significant impact on how many times the individual will respond for cigarettes in the extinction part of concurrent choice task. Thus suggesting the heavier the smoker the higher the incentive value of cigarettes compared to the neutral stimulus. However, a significant impact of the level of depression, anxiety and loneliness on the response rate of cigarettes was not found. Possible reasoning for these outcomes are discussed, including methodological issues of the CPT. Whilst providing evidence towards the influence of the amount smoked and the incentive value of cigarettes, the findings are expected have to therapeutic potential by aiding what is targeted in abstinence programmes.

Rebecca Saunders - FINAL THESIS.PDF - Accepted Version
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