Date of Graduation

Spring 2013


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Ann Rost


Smoking cessation is a difficult yet incredibly important area of clinical research and practice. Innovation in behavioral treatments for smoking has stalled in previous decades, creating the need for new, theory-driven interventions that improve stagnating success rates. Additionally, pregnant and postpartum women are at a high risk for numerous negative health effects association with smoking. The current study sought to examine the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment (ACT) with pregnant and postpartum women who presented for nutritional assistance through Women's, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinic in Springfield, Missouri. It was hypothesized that women treated with ACT would accept and attend to the intervention equally or better than women who receive routine psychoeducational information (treatment as usual). It was also hypothesized that acceptance and valued living would be negatively associated with nicotine dependence, and women who received ACT would achieve greater decreases in cigarette smoking relative to controls. Results indicated that groups tolerated the intervention equally, that acceptance was negatively associated with dependence level, and that ACT participants demonstrated more consistent decreases in smoking frequency than did controls.


smoking cessation, nicotine dependence, acceptance and commitment therapy, behavior therapy, maternal smoking

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© David Christian Houghton

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