Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Cheryl Dickter

Committee Members

Paul Kieffaber

Robin Looft-Wilson

Catherine Forestell


The goal of the current study was to examine whether exposure to parental smoking affects implicit cognitive mechanisms that may contribute to smoking initiation in children. To achieve this aim, the current study used a dot probe task to measure attentional bias and the Affect Misattribution Procedure (AMP) to measure evaluation of smoking-related cues in 8-12 year-old children. In addition, a modified Smoking Consequences Questionnaire (SCQ) was used to assess smoking outcome expectancies to determine if outcome expectancies related to these implicit measures. Results revealed that children of smokers (n = 67) showed an attentional bias away from smoking-related cues, whereas children of non-smokers (n = 76) did not show an attentional bias. Although all children exhibited a negative implicit affective response to smoking-related cues, children of smokers rated marginally more smoking-stimuli as unpleasant than children of non-smokers. Outcome expectancies largely did not relate to attentional bias or implicit affective responses. These findings suggest that unlike adults with smoking parents, preadolescents who are children of smokers do not show attentional biases toward smoking-related cues, nor do they demonstrate favorable affective responses towards smoking stimuli. Why preadolescent children direct less attention toward and have more negative responses to smoking cues and how these responses are changed or reversed during adolescence are important areas for future research.

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Creative Commons License
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