The roles of sex, anxious reactivity to bodily arousal, and anxiety sensitivity in coping motives for cigarette smoking among adolescents

Sarah A. Bilsky*, Matthew T. Feldner, Ashley Arehart Knapp, Sasha M. Rojas, Ellen W. Leen-Feldner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Evidence suggests that smoking to cope among adolescents is associated with a number of problematic outcomes (e.g., greater smoking frequency, higher rates of dependence). It is thus imperative to better understand factors that may increase the likelihood of smoking to cope among adolescents. Research suggests anxiety sensitivity (AS) is associated with smoking to cope among adults, although the link between AS and coping motives for cigarette use among youth is less clear. Gender differences have also been noted in AS. The current study investigates this association using a biological challenge paradigm. Specifically, the indirect effects of anxious reactivity to bodily arousal on the relation between the physical and mental AS factors and coping motives for cigarette smoking were examined within a sample of 108 adolescent cigarette smokers. Gender was examined as a moderator. Results suggested significant indirect effects of self-reported anxiety in response to bodily arousal on the relation between physical AS and coping motives for cigarette smoking. This indirect effect was moderated by gender, such that it was significant for females but not males. Models examining AS mental concerns and psychophysiological responding to the challenge were not significant. These results suggest that, relative to their low AS counterparts, female adolescents high in physical concerns respond with elevated anxiety in response to interoceptive arousal and, in turn, endorse elevated coping-related smoking motives. Findings are discussed in terms of implications for understanding the nature and origins of coping-related smoking motives and how such information can be used to inform intervention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Anxious arousal
  • Cigarettes
  • Coping motives

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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