Depression vulnerability predicts cigarette smoking among college students: Gender and negative reinforcement expectancies as contributing factors

Holly E R Morrell, Lee M. Cohen, Dennis E McChargue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


This study examined the association between vulnerability to depression and smoking behavior in 1214 college students (54% female), and evaluated gender and expectancies of negative affect reduction as moderators or mediators of this relationship. Depression vulnerability predicted smoking in females, but not males. The relationship between depression vulnerability and smoking status was mediated by expectancies of negative affect reduction in females only. Female college students who are vulnerable to depression may smoke because they expect smoking to relieve negative affect. Smoking interventions for college females may increase in effectiveness by targeting depression and emphasizing mood regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-611
Number of pages5
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2010



  • Cigarette smoking
  • College students
  • Depression
  • Gender
  • Negative affect reduction
  • Smoking expectancies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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