Background: The association between short-term emotion dynamics and long-term psychopathology has been well established in the psychology literature. Yet, dynamic measures for inertia and instability of negative and positive affect have not been studied in terms of their association with cigarette dependence. This study builds an important bridge between the psychology and substance use literatures by introducing these novel measures and conducting a comprehensive examination of such association with intervention implications. Methods: This study conducted secondary analysis on the data from a community sample of 136 dual users (e-cigarette + cigarette) and 101 exclusive smokers who completed both the two-week ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and cigarette dependence assessments in a recent study. Results: Among dual users, a higher average level of negative affect, lower inertia of negative affect (i.e., less sustained negative affect), and higher instability of positive affect (i.e., greater magnitude of changes in positive affect) were associated with higher cigarette dependence. The patterns of associations among exclusive smokers were, however, different. Higher inertia of negative affect, lower instability of positive affect, and higher variability of negative affect were associated with higher dependence. Conclusions: The results illustrate the importance of examining not only negative affect but also positive affect in order to fully understand the association between emotion dynamics and cigarette dependence. The different patterns of association between emotion dynamics and cigarette dependence across the two groups of cigarette users also call for future research that is designed to compare cigarettes and e-cigarettes in terms of their effects on emotion regulation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Pharmacology (medical)