Effects of gender in social control of smoking cessation

Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 11794-2500, USA.
Health Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.59). 08/2002; 21(4):368-76. DOI: 10.1037/0278-6133.21.4.368
Source: PubMed


This study of 93 men and 117 women smokers during an ongoing quit attempt examined the roles of gender and social network influences on quitting. For men, social influences appeared to positively affect their ability to reduce their smoking but were less effective for women. Specifically, increased reports of a spouse or partner's influence, and family and friends' influence, were associated with greater reductions in men's smoking 2 days and 4 months post quit date, respectively. In contrast, for women, greater reports of spouse or partner influence and of family and friends' influence were associated with smaller reductions in smoking. Sex differences in social control strategies and perceived autonomy supportiveness of those strategies are discussed as possible explanations for these results.

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Available from: Roberta Ferrence
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    • "without compromising their status as 'good citizens' (Crawford 1994). Men's propensity to see health as 'women's business' (Norcross et al. 1996) is particularly noteworthy in the context of previous research which highlights the role that female partners play in, for example, promoting healthy eating patterns (Gough and Connor 2006) and supporting smoking cessation interventions (Westmass et al. 2002) among their male partners . Whilst such fi ndings draw attention to the appeal of inveigling the support of women for men's health initiatives, such an approach reinforces stereotypical and sexist notions of women's 'obligations' to undertake the control and protection of health within families, including taking care of men (Crawford 1994), and may inadvertently support the view that 'real men' are not concerned about their health (Robertson 2006). "
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    • "Findings on the stress-buffering effects of received support indicate that women and men usually benefit more from support received from women than from men (Glynn, Christenfeld, & Gerin, 1999; Neff & Karney, 2005; Westmaas, Wild, & Ferrence, 2002). These results apply to strangers (e.g. "
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    • "While we demonstrated in the previous paper that it was possible for nurses to deliver the quitting message to the fathers of sick children through the non-smoking spouse, it remained unclear whether the brief intervention was effective in motivating women to help their husbands quit smoking. Furthermore, no study has examined the factors inducing women to influence their husbands in this way, although spousal support has long been discussed as a key factor in successful quitting [3-5]. "
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