Using CBT to Target Body Image Issues in Female College Smokers

A recent study showed that using CBT techniques to target body image issues among female smokers in smoking cessation intervention programs can help lower their smoking rates. High smoking rates and the health risks associated with smoking are a serious concern. An alarming twenty-two to thirty-four percent of college students smoke cigarettes. Previous research has shown that smoking rates in some female college students are related to their body image beliefs. This research used the cognitive pathway of body image and smoking to explain how females’ schemas of their body image serve as a foundation for smoking. These previous studies suggest that when females ruminate about their weight, they develop a cognitive bias about their body, which leads them to use smoking as a method for weight loss.

In the current study published in Behavior Modification researchers created two intervention programs for female college students to help them decrease the number of cigarettes they smoked. Twenty-four female college students were recruited to participate in an eight-week cognitive behavior smoking cessation program. They were placed into either an internet smoking session and body image group or an internet smoking session and exercise group. Both groups participated in a an hour long smoking cessation workshop which involved cognitive behavior therapy techniques (e.g., goal setting and skill building) followed by either a body image workshop or an exercise class. In addition, an internet site called Blackboard was used for group discussions and to distribute handouts.

Smoking, body image, and weight concerns were assessed using questionnaires following the intervention. Results showed that the smoking cessation rates for those who participated in the internet smoking session and body image group were greater than the rates for those who participated in the internet smoking session and exercise group. This research supports the hypothesis that body image schemas affect smoking habits in female college students.

In terms of limitations, the current study used a small sample size, lacked a control group, and used web-based instead of face-to-face group discussions. All of the participants involved in this research recommended the program to others, and they suggested that future studies incorporate face-to-face programs to make sure that everyone can participate and attend the sessions. The authors recommend replication studies with larger sample sizes in order to obtain more significant findings.

Napolitano, M.A., Llyod-Richardson, E.E., Marcus, B.H. (2011). Targeting body image schema for smoking cessation among college females: Rationale, program description, and pilot study results. Behavior Modification; 35(4): 323-346. PMID: 21502132.

What is Dr. Aaron Beck’s 90th birthday wish? (Students Ask Dr. Beck – Part EIGHT)

This is the eighth question from the Q&A portion of Beck Institute’s 3-Day CBT Workshop on Depression and Anxiety for students and post-doctoral fellows, held on August 15 – 17, 2011. In this video, Dr. Beck shares his 90th birthday wish with participants at Beck Institute’s annual Student and Faculty Workshop, on CBT for Depression and Anxiety. Dr. Beck discusses the dissemination of CBT by effective cognitive therapists. He also discusses the status of cognitive therapy in the US and abroad as well as the importance of increasing education of cognitive therapy within the US.

Happy Birthday Thanks

Dr. Aaron Beck sends his heartfelt thanks to ALL of you–students, friends, and colleagues from around the world–who sent so many warm birthday wishes to him.

Two students from Romania sent him the following letter and photo:

Happy Birthday Dr. Beck from two students from Romania, Fabian and Alina.

We had the wonderful opportunity to meet you in Boston at the WCBT Congress, and Dr. Judith Beck as well. We also took a few memorable pictures and we would like to send it to you.

We were students of Dr. Daniel David, in Romania and currently we are graduate students in New York. We wanted to congratulate you for your birthday, wish you all the best and assure you of our total appreciation, respect and love. We thank you for everything you are, you did and you mean for thousands of people across the globe and for many, many generations to come.

Thank you Dr. Beck and Happy Birthday again!

Please receive our humble and warmest wishes,

Fabian and Alina Agiurgioaei Boie

Boston WCBT 2010 Romanian Students 

The Effects of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy on Nursing Students in Korea

newstudy-graphic-66x60.jpgIn this study, researchers tested the effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral program for nursing students’ career attitude maturity, decision making style, and self-esteem. The participants were 40 nursing students, 20 of whom were randomly assigned to the experimental group, and 20 of whom were randomly assigned to a control group. The students in the experimental group received 8 hour-long sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) over 8 weeks. Data indicated that the experimental group’s mean score for career attitude maturity and self-esteem increased greatly as compared to the control group. This comparison was especially stark in the areas of confidence and independence. Based on their results, the researchers recommend that CBT group counseling programs on career maturity be implemented for nursing students.

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