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Body-Image Exposure Session and Smoking urge

Updated: Jun 9, 2022

In the recent past, women have expressed concerns over their body image. This is basically as a result of media exposure to thin women perceived to be beautiful and described as having the perfect body type. In-effect, many ladies look for ways to control their weight and enhance their body image. One such method is through smoking. It is believed that it helps in mood enhancement, weight loss and reducing anxiety. Many studies have been conducted to expound on the same and to also examine the alternative of performing physical exercises which basically offers the same benefit. One such study that this paper aims at critiquing, in line with the concepts of differential statistics, is a study by Nair, Collins & Napolitano (2013) entitled Differential effects of a body image exposure session on smoking urge between physically active and sedentary female smokers.

Indeed the researchers purposed to answer a number of questions in line with their research project. Firstly, they sought to answer the question on the urgency to smoke between physically active and sedentary women smokers by considering the time taken between the first puff and exercise and also the severity of the persistent urge to smoke prior to and after the exercise for both groups. Secondly, they sought to answer the question of whether physical exercise helps in reducing the urge to smoke (Nair et al., 2013).

The hypothesis for the research was that body-image exposure to physical activity reduces the urge to smoke among 18-24 year old female smokers. Therefore, according to statistical requirements, the hypothesis was tested using paired t tests. This was basically to test the Differential effects of a body image exposure session on smoking urge between physically active and sedentary female smokers

Looking at the article from a statistical point of view, it is evident that the researchers employed a number of statistical aspects in a bid to provide useful information to the reader. To begin with, I can say that the researchers chose an effective way of selecting their variables. This was done through the use of cue-reactivity paradigm. Also, the article used t tests to test the hypothesis which basically was effective considering the nature of the research project. Lastly, the article used correlation to show that increased time for physical activity reduces the urge to smoke. Personally, I would have also used ANOVA tests to investigate a third group that is not engaged to smoking but vulnerable and show how the body-image exposure helps to prevent smoking in this group and generally the differences between the three groups (Nair et al., 2013).

The assumption and limitation of the statistical study is that the researchers confined the age limits to 18 – 24 yrs only. Well in as much as the age limit is within the legal age for smoking, the truth is that body-image issues among ladies start in the adolescent age. In fact, many teenage girls are known to engage in drug abuse with smoking being one of them in a bid to enhance their body-image. Therefore in my own opinion, I would have increased the age limits for those under research to about 14- 24 yrs in order to accurately generalize the findings to the entire population.

The researchers applied statistical testing to the problem in two ways. Firstly, by using the paired t tests, they were able to test on the latency to first puff and self reported urges to smoke. Secondly, by using correlation, they were able to show the relationship between increased physical activities and reduced self-reported urges to smoking (Nair et al., 2013).

From the statistical testing employed in the research article, the authors found that by increasing time engaged in vigorous intensity physical activity there was reduced self-reported urge to smoke at post (r= -0.44; p = .01) though not with latency to the first puff (r = -.10; p = .62)


Nair, U. S., Collins, B. N., & Napolitano, M. A. (2013). Differential effects of a body image exposure session on smoking urge between physically active and sedentary female smokers.Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27(1), 322-327. Retrieved from the EBSCOhost database.

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