Self-efficacy is an important predictor of smoking cessation. Partners' confidence in the other partner's health behaviour, or other-efficacy, seems predictive of beneficial health outcomes, but has not yet been examined with respect to smoking cessation. This diary study examined whether daily fluctuations and general levels of non-smoking partners' other-efficacy relates to same- and next-day smoking, over and above smokers' own self-efficacy.
Smokers and their non-smoking partners (169 couples) participated in an intensive longitudinal study over 21 days with end-of-day diaries, starting on the day of planned cessation.
Main Outcome Measures
Smokers who had higher self-efficacy than other smokers in the sample had a lower probability of smoking on a given day, regardless of smoking the previous day. On days with higher self-efficacy and other-efficacy than usual, smokers had a lower probability of smoking.
To start the quit attempt with high self-efficacy, and maintain it throughout the quit attempt seems important for successful abstinence, as this might help to overcome a lapse. This is the first study to show that other-efficacy is related to smoking behaviour. However, more research is needed regarding the temporal order of smoking and efficacy, from both smokers and spouses.