Dimensions of impulsive behavior and treatment outcomes for adolescent smokers

Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2014 Feb;22(1):57-64. doi: 10.1037/a0034403. Epub 2014 Jan 13.


Adolescent cigarette smoking rates remain a significant public health concern, and as a result there is a continued need to understand factors that contribute to an adolescent's ability to reduce or quit smoking. Previous research suggests that impulsive behavior may be associated with treatment outcomes for smoking. The current research (N = 81) explored 3 dimensions of impulsive behavior as predictors of treatment response from a social-cognitive type program for adolescent smokers (i.e., Not On Tobacco; N-O-T). Measures included laboratory assessments of delay discounting, sustained attention, and behavioral disinhibition. A self-report measure of impulsivity was also included. Adolescent smokers who had better sustained attention were more likely to reduce or quit smoking by the end of treatment. No other measures of impulsivity were significantly associated with treatment response. From these findings, an adolescent smoker's ability to sustain attention appears to be an important behavioral attribute to consider when implementing smoking cessation programs such as N-O-T.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Attention
  • Choice Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology*
  • Male
  • Self Report
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome