Maternal bonding styles in smokers and non-smokers: A comparative study

Iren Csala, Monika Elemery, Fruzsina Martinovszky, Peter Dome, Balazs Dome, G. Faludi, Imola Sandor, Zsuzsa Gyorffy, Emma Birkas, Judit Lazary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Parental bonding has been implicated in smoking behavior, and the quality of maternal bonding (MB) has been associated with poor mental health and substance use. However, little is known about the association of MB and the smoking of the offspring. Methods: In our study, 129 smokers and 610 non-smoker medical students completed the parental bonding instrument, which measures MB along two dimensions: care and overprotection. Four categories can be created by high and low scores on care and overprotection: optimal parenting (OP; high care/low overprotection); affectionless control (ALC; low care/high overprotection); affectionate constraint (AC; high care/high overprotection), and neglectful parenting (NP; low care/low overprotection). Nicotine dependence was assessed by the Fagerstrom Nicotine Dependence Test, exhaled CO level, and daily cigarette consumption (CPD). Results: Higher CPD was significantly associated with lower overprotection (p = 0.016) and higher care (p = 0.023) scores. The odds for being a smoker were significantly higher in the neglectful maternal bonding style compared to the other rearing styles (p = 0.022). Besides, smokers showed significantly higher care and lower overprotection scores with the Mann-Whitney U-test than non-smokers, although these associations did not remain significant in multiple regression models. Conclusion: Our results indicate that focusing on early life relationship between patient and mother can be important in psychotherapeutic interventions for smoking. Registration trials retrospectively registered

Original languageEnglish
Article number32
JournalAnnals of General Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 11 2016



  • Depression
  • Nicotine dependence
  • Parental bonding style
  • Smoking onset

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Csala, I., Elemery, M., Martinovszky, F., Dome, P., Dome, B., Faludi, G., Sandor, I., Gyorffy, Z., Birkas, E., & Lazary, J. (2016). Maternal bonding styles in smokers and non-smokers: A comparative study. Annals of General Psychiatry, 15(1), [32].