Daily support and negative control during a quit attempt in single-smoking couples

Health Psychol. 2021 Mar;40(3):207-216. doi: 10.1037/hea0000969.


Objective: Research has shown a beneficial influence of partner support on smoking cessation. Previous studies mainly focused on support and neglected negative behaviors. Less is known about differences in support perceptions between partners. This study aimed to examine how supportive as well as negative control behaviors relate to smoking and relationship satisfaction in single-smoking couples during a quit attempt.

Method: Smokers and their nonsmoking partners (n = 170 cohabiting couples) participated in an intensive longitudinal study over 21 days with end-of-day diaries. A dyadic score model was used, emphasizing couple levels and differences for the explanatory variables (i.e., support and negative control) and the outcome variables (smoking [for smokers only]; relationship satisfaction).

Results: Smokers whose partner showed more supportive and less negative control behavior had a lower probability of smoking, and both partners had higher relationship satisfaction. On days with more supportive and less negative control behavior than usual, smokers had a lower probability of smoking and both partners had higher relationship satisfaction. For smokers who reported more support than their partner reported providing, the couples' relationship satisfaction was higher and the smokers' relationship satisfaction was higher than their partners'. Differences between received and provided support/control at the between-couple and daily level were unrelated to smoking.

Conclusions: Support seems important during a quit attempt as it was related to a lower probability of smoking and higher relationship satisfaction in couples, while negative control behaviors should be avoided as they were associated with higher probability of smoking and lower relationship satisfaction. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Smokers / psychology*
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Social Support
  • Spouses / psychology*
  • Tobacco Smoking
  • Young Adult