The interplay of received social support and self-regulatory factors in smoking cessation

Sibylle Ochsner, Aleksandra Luszczynska, Gertraud Stadler, Nina Knoll, Rainer Hornung, Urte Scholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: In smoking cessation, individual self-regulation and social support have both proven to be useful. However, the roles of self-regulatory processes and social support are mostly examined separately. The present study aims at examining the unique and joint interactive effects of self-regulation as specified in the health action process approach (HAPA) and social support on smoking cessation. The study tested whether social support can compensate for low levels of self-regulation or whether synergistic effects emerge. 

DESIGN & MEASURES: Around a self-set quit date, 99 smokers completed baseline questionnaires on HAPA-variables, smoking-specific received social support and smoking cessation (continuous abstinence and point prevalence), with a follow-up Cpproximately 29 days after the quitdate.

RESULTS: Social support moderated the association between volitional self-efficacy and smoking, as well as coping planning and smoking but not between action planning and smoking. No compensatory effect of social support for lower levels of individual regulation emerged but the combination of high levels of the individual variables and social support was related to successful smoking cessation, indicating a synergistic effect.

CONCLUSIONS: The results confirm the importance of examining both self-regulation and social factors in smoking cessation. This should be considered when developing future interventions for smoking cessation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-31
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology & Health
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

This study and the first author were funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (100014_124516). The second author’s contribution was supported by a grant from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (BST/WROC/2012/01). We would like to thank all students who helped with data collection.


  • health behaviour change
  • smoking cessation
  • received social support
  • health action process approach


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