Psychosocial Predictors of Nicotine Dependence among Women during Their Mid-Sixties


  • Dr. Koppel is now with the Department of Psychology at Psykologisk Institut in Aarhus, Denmark. Address correspondence to Dr. Judith Brook, Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, 215 Lexington Avenue, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10016. E-mail:


Although there is considerable research demonstrating the prospective association between earlier maladaptive personal attributes and later nicotine dependence, there is less work on the psychosocial mediators of this relationship. Maladaptive personal attributes appear in the form of depression, anxiety, and interpersonal sensitivity. This study was designed to assess the prospective relationship between earlier maladaptive personal attributes (mean age = 40) and later nicotine dependence (inline image age = 65.2) within an understudied female community sample. The participants were given self-administered questionnaires. The results supported a model by which earlier maladaptive personal attributes predicted later nicotine dependence through several indirect pathways. In addition to cigarette smoking, several domains mediated the relation of earlier maladaptive personal attributes and later nicotine dependence. These domains included internal factors (ie, later maladaptive personal attributes), interpersonal factors (ie, marital/partner conflict), later contextual factors (ie, family financial difficulty). Our multidimensional longitudinal findings have important implications for the prevention and treatment of nicotine dependence. The results identify earlier and later significant psychosocial risk factors to be targeted, and suggest the timing of interventions to reduce or eliminate nicotine dependence. (Am J Addict 2012;00:1–11)