Does Resilience Moderate the Relationship Between Stress and Smoking Status?

George Tsourtos, Paul R. Ward, Emma R. Miller, Kathy Hill, Christopher Barton, Carlene J. Wilson, Richard Woodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There is a growing evidence that resilience to stress can promote nonsmoking. However, few studies have undertaken quantitative research to investigate whether resilience, generated by internal and external factors, moderates the impact of stress on the likelihood of smoking. Objective: This study aims to help fill this knowledge gap in relation to smokers and ex-smokers, and those people who have never smoked. Methods: A large online cross-sectional survey was administered in Australia (2015–2016) to collect data on demographic variables, levels of internal and external resilience, and stress from current and past smokers (n = 400) and those who have never-smoked (n = 921). Logistic regressions were employed to test our hypotheses. Results: Most participants were female (82%) and ranged between 18 and 77 years. Higher levels of reported perceived stress and stress-related variables did significantly predict smoking. The combined impact of internal and external resilience factors predicted never-smoking and lessened the relationship between perceived stress and stress-related variables, and the likelihood of smoking. Conclusion: These results are important because they suggest that the social environment should be developed to augment social support and internal properties such as developing “a strong sense of purpose in life” to encourage people not to commence smoking, rather than focus on smoking cessation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-425
Number of pages14
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • internal and external resilience
  • Resilience and smoking
  • stress and smoking


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