Date of Award


Degree Type



Health Sciences

First Advisor

Hammonds, Michael

Subject Headings

Smoking -- Psychological aspects, Stress (Psychology), Mental illness, Stress, Smoking, Schizophrenia, Mental illness


The context for this research project is a population of individuals diagnosed with a mental illness schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depressive disorders, or other diagnosis as specified by participant. Research has shown that 87 of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia are smokers and 65-75 of those diagnosed with bipolar or depressive disorders smoke compared to 20 from the general population. The purpose of this study is to determine if perceived stress is positively associated with cigarette dependence among a study sample of non-psychiatric participants and those diagnosed with a mental illness. A correlational survey based design was used to test five hypotheses of perceived stress and smoking. Survey data was obtained from smokers and non-smokers hospitalized at Windsor-Laurelwood Center for Behavioral Medicine. Included in this study sample were smokers and non-smokers from Cleveland State University representative of the general population. The survey instruments used in this data collection included the psychometric assessments Perceived Stress Scale, Cigarette Dependence Scale, and the Reasons for Quitting Scale. Consistent with prior research and published government data on smoking rates for those diagnosed with a mental illness, this sampling of participants reported similar smoking rates at 88 for those with schizophrenia, and 75 and 74 for those diagnosed with bipolar and depressive disorders respectively. The first hypothesis was supported in this research the levels of perceived stress are significantly greater in those with mental illness compared to the group drawn from the general population. A second hypothesis was supported perceived stress is positively related to cigarette dependence. Though, this relationship between perceived stress and cigarette dependence was not shown to be greater in those with schizophrenia, nor was it stronger than those with bipolar or depressive disorders