The relation between social support and smoking cessation: Revisiting an established measure to improve prediction

Rachel J. Burns, Alexander J. Rothman, Steven S. Fu, Bruce Lindgren, Anne M. Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Although social support is an integral element in smoking cessation, the literature presents mixed findings regarding the type(s) of social support that are most helpful. The Partner Interaction Questionnaire (PIQ) is commonly used to measure social support in this context. Purpose: We explored the possibility that more nuanced distinctions between items on the PIQ than what is customarily used could improve the prediction of cessation. Methods: Baseline PIQ responses of smokers enrolled in a cessation program was submitted to an exploratory factor analysis. Emergent factors were used to predict cessation at several time points. Results: Four factors emerged, which differed from the two subscales that are typically used. The four-factor version predicted cessation; the two-factor version did not. Conclusions: Identifying the types of social support that predict smoking cessation depend on our ability to measure social support. More nuanced measures will likely clarify the role of social support in cessation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-375
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was funded by the Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center (TTURC) on Tobacco Exposure Reduction, NCI/NIDA: P50 DA013333. This material is based upon work supported in part by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Office of Research and Development and Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D).


  • Smoking Cessation
  • Social Support


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