Chelsea Mao

Date of Award

Spring 2008

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

First Advisor

Melinda Irwin, PhD, MPH


Optimism has been shown to predict both positive health outcomes and positive health behavior. This study aimed to determine whether optimism could predict greater success in smoking cessation and intervention adherence among smokers enrolled in a randomized control trial comparing two six-week smoking interventions. Optimism was measured prior to intervention initiation using a measure of dispositional optimism (LOT-R), and a measure of situational optimism designed by the author. Objective measures of expired carbon monoxide and intervention attendance data were used to evaluate three outcomes: smoking cessation, smoking reduction, and intervention adherence. Linear and logistic regression models were used to assess the effect of optimism on these outcomes, controlling for participants' age, level of nicotine dependence, and intervention assignment. No significant effects for optimism were found for smoking cessation or smoking reduction. However, both dimensions of optimism were found to be significant predictors of intervention adherence. The effect of situational optimism was found to be stronger than that of dispositional optimism in predicting adherence. Implications for behavioral health intervention planners are discussed.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access

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