Characteristics of cigarette smoking in individuals in smoking concordant and smoking discordant couples

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Published in: Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 6(2), 106-116.


Partner smoking status may impact smoking cessation outcomes. The purpose of this study is to compare smokers in smoking concordant couples (both partners smoke) to smokers in smoking discordant couples (one partner smokes) on variables that are important for quitting smoking. Participants were 123 cigarette smokers with cohabitating romantic partners (smoking discordant: n = 60, smoking concordant: n = 63, 63.9% females). We used one-way MANCOVA, controlling for age and number of cigarettes smoked per day, to examine differences between groups on smoking outcome expectancies, motivation to quit smoking, and dyadic efficacy to quit smoking. We examined smoking behavior in a series of exploratory analyses. We found a significant multivariate difference between individuals in smoking concordant and discordant couples (p < .05) such that 20.3% of the variation in the linear combination of dependent variables was accounted for by group membership. Follow-up univariate ANCOVA analyses indicated that those in smoking discordant couples reported greater positive outcome expectancies for cigarettes with regard to facilitating social situations and reducing boredom than those in the smoking concordant group. Participants in smoking concordant couples smoked more cigarettes when their partners were present, fewer cigarettes without their partners present, and were more likely to prefer that their partner be involved in their smoking cessation treatment than those in smoking discordant couples. The results of this study may guide the development of smoking cessation interventions that attend to the unique needs of smoking concordant and discordant couples.