University of Illinois at Chicago
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Daily Physical Activity, Smoking, and Mood in High-Risk Young Adults

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posted on 2016-06-21, 00:00 authored by Melanie J. Nadell
Physical activity (PA) and smoking are inversely related, and PA is being incorporated as an adjunctive component to cessation interventions in younger populations. This study sought to better understand the effects of PA on smoking level as well as another target of cessation, smoking urges, in a sample of young adults enriched for past smoking. This study further examined the degree to which PA might function to reduce the association between mood and smoking outcomes. Participants were 190 ethnically diverse young adults (53.7% female; 91.1% current smokers) who completed an ecological momentary assessment week, during which they were prompted to answer questions about their mood (i.e., positive affect - PosA and negative affect- NegA) and smoking urges as well as event-recorded smoking episodes. They then completed a 7-day PA recall interview to obtain an assessment of five PA measures: caloric energy expenditure, non-work-related PA (NWPA), work-related PA (WPA), moderate PA, and vigorous PA. Between-subjects (BS) effects were the average of PA and mood reports. Within-subjects (WS) effects represented subjects’ daily deviations from their weekly mean. Mixed-effects regression models, controlling for body mass index and gender (when not a moderator), examined two questions: 1. Does PA predict smoking level and urges? 2. Does PA reduce the effect of mood on smoking outcomes? Results revealed that effects of PA on smoking varied by type of PA, whether associations were BS or WS, and gender. Results also showed that higher BS NWPA, BS moderate PA, and BS vigorous PA each reduced the link between low BS PosA and higher urges; however, the effect of vigorous PA was only present for males. Higher WS WPA enhanced the link between both low WS PosA and high WS NegA and higher urges. Finally, for females, higher BS moderate PA enhanced the association between mood and smoking level, such that higher BS NegA predicted lower smoking among more active females. Findings suggest gender and context-specific differences in associations between PA, smoking, and mood. Results are discussed in terms of the theoretical and clinical implications for the use of PA for smoking reduction and cessation in young adults.



Mermelstein, Robin J.



Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Committee Member

Kassel, Jon Balague, Gloria Hedeker, Donald Marquez, David X. Slater, Sandy

Submitted date



  • en

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