Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Clinical Psychology

Committee Chair

Frank Andrasik

Committee Member

James G. Murphy

Committee Member

Robert A. Neimeyer

Committee Member

Fawaz Mzayek


Cigarette smoking decreases health and increases mortality. Researchers have devoted much attention to factors that promote smoking (e.g., depression), but have paid little attention to factors that buffer against smoking. Positive psychology may provide a useful framework to complement our current knowledge of cigarette smoking and treatment. The current study investigated the relation between positive psychology constructs (i.e., happiness and optimism) and smoking status, smoker type, and cessation success using path analysis with data from college students (SONA) and an online sample (MTurk). Data from 1,292 (NSONA = 582, NMTurk = 710) participants showed that most pasticipants were female (66.3%), single (59.4%) or married (24.1%), and Caucasian (67.2%) or African American (23.1%). Approximately 17% were current smokers, 62.8% were non-smokers, 6.5% were light smokers, 5.6% were heavy smokers, 12.1% were stable ex-smokers, and 2.7% were recent ex-smokers. Due to the significant differences between SONA and MTurk samples, analyses were performed separately. Path analysis for SONA showed non-significant relations or were inconclusive possibly due to the small sample sizes. Path analysis for MTurk revealed a significant relation between depression and dispositional optimism and cessation success. Dispositional optimism was a stronger predictor of cessation success relative to depression. However, dispositional optimism and depression predicted a higher likelihood of being a recent (vs. stable) ex-smoker. Future research should establish the relation between positive constructs and smoking by including larger and more diverse samples, applying sophisticated statistical methos, evaluating pilot studies, and comparing positive psychology models with other traditional models of addiction.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.