Social support from one’s partner is assumed to be beneficial for successful smoking cessation. However, thus far, no study has examined the fine-grained temporal dynamics of daily support and smoking in the process of quitting. Method: In this longitudinal mobile phone study, smokers (N = 100, 28% women, mean age = 40.48 years) reported daily number of cigarettes smoked and how much smoking-specific emotional and instrumental social support they received from their partner for 10 days before and 21 days after a self-set quit date. Nonsmoking partners’ (N = 99, mean age = 38.95 years) reports of provision of support were assessed to validate the smokers’ self-reports regarding support received. Time-lagged analyses were conducted using a change-predicting-change model. Results: Prior and concurrent increases in received emotional smoking-specific support were related to less smoking. Effects were more pronounced after the quit date, which is when support is most needed. Prior change in smoking did not predict change in received support. Results with partner reports of provision of support and results with instrumental support were almost identical. Conclusions: Daily changes in social support preceded and accompanied daily changes in smoking particularly after a self-set quit date. Findings emphasize the need for a prospective daily diary approach to understand the dynamics of social support in smoking cessation.
Bibliographical noteThis study was funded by the Swiss National Foundation (100014_124516).
We would like to thank all students who helped with data collection.
- quit date
- social support
- daily diary