Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Thomas H. Brandon, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David J. Drobes, Ph.D.

Committee Member

J. Kevin Thompson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael T. Brannick, Ph.D.


cue reactivity, body image, addiction, college students, females


Smoking is now the leading cause of preventable death and disease in women. Understanding women's motivations to smoke is important in developing effective cessation and relapse prevention programs. Women, more so than men, appear to associate their smoking behavior to issues of weight. Although a general relationship between weight concerns and smoking has been found among women, a causal relationship had not been demonstrated. This study tested whether activation of negative body image cognitions would produce greater urges to smoke and whether the relationship would be moderated by trait body dissatisfaction and mediated by state body dissatisfaction.

A randomized 2 X 2 crossed factorial, within-subjects design (body image cues X smoking cues) was conducted with 62 female college smokers. The body image manipulation comprised an image of either a thin model or a neutral object, and the smoking manipulation comprised an image of either a smoking cue or a neutral object. Participants completed pre-intervention measures assessing smoking history and body image dissatisfaction. Urge to smoke, mood state, and weight and appearance satisfaction were assessed during the experiment. It was hypothesized that main effects on reported urge to smoke would be found for both manipulations, with body dissatisfaction moderating the body image manipulation. Results indicated that both smoking cues and thin model images increased reported urges to smoke. Additionally, in the absence of smoking cues, the effect of the body image manipulation was moderated by baseline body dissatisfaction, with those women with greater body dissatisfaction reacting more strongly to the thin model image. The effect on smoking urges by the body image manipulation was partially mediated by both state measures of affect and body satisfaction.

Thus,this study is the first to demonstrate through an experimental design that the presentation of images portraying thin women increased smoking urge, which is consistent with a causal influence of body image affecting their smoking motivation.