Success Attributions for Stopping Smoking During Pregnancy, Self-Efficacy, and Postpartum Maintenance

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Relapse prevention has focused on failure, not success attributions. This study of 392 privately insured women who stopped smoking during pregnancy found that the stability dimension of success attributions for pregnancy smoking cessation predicted abstinence at all postpartum time points (i.e., 6 weeks and 3, 6, and 12 months); for 277 women who continued abstinence to 6 weeks postpartum, the 6-week postpartum stability attribution predicted later time points, as did 6-week self-efficacy. Internality predicted smoking at the next time point only, and controllability was not a predictor. More than 50% said the baby was the reason for pregnancy smoking cessation, and 6-week abstinence; stability and internality ratings varied but not controllability. An exploratory test of the relation of self-efficacy and success attributions indicated that self-efficacy fully mediated the effect of stability. Success attributions may merit more attention.

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