The Short Form Vaping Consequences Questionnaire: Psychometric Properties of a Measure of Vaping Expectancies for Use With Adult E-cigarette Users

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Abstract

Introduction:

E-cigarettes are popular in the United States, but psychometrically sound measures of vaping beliefs and behaviors are lacking.

Methods:

We evaluated the psychometrics of the Short Form Vaping Consequences Questionnaire (S-VCQ), a modified version of the Short Form Smoking Consequences Questionnaire that assesses expectancies for negative consequences, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and appetite/weight control associated with vaping. Adult, past-month e-cigarette users completed an anonymous survey in Fall 2015 (N = 522, 50.4% female; 71.5% white; 34.10 [SD = 9.66] years). Psychometric analyses included confirmatory factor analysis, internal consistency, measurement invariance, t tests, correlations, and test-criterion relationships with vaping outcomes.

Results:

The S-VCQ evidenced a four-factor latent structure (Bentler’s Comparative Fit Index = .95, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation = .05, Standardized Root Mean Square Residual = .06), and subscales evidenced internal consistency (mean α = 0.89). S-VCQ scores were scalar invariant for sex and smoking status; women reported stronger appetite/weight control than men and dual cigarette/e-cigarette users (n = 309) reported stronger negative vaping consequences and negative reinforcement than nonsmokers. Among dual users, vaping and smoking expectancies also were scalar invariant; dual users reported stronger positive reinforcement associated with vaping than smoking but stronger negative consequences, negative reinforcement, and appetite/weight control associated with smoking than vaping. Correlations indicated that vaping and smoking expectancies were related, yet distinct constructs. Univariate general linear models indicated that vaping frequency and dependence were associated with positive reinforcement (η2p = .02/.02), negative reinforcement (η2p = .02/.08), and appetite/weight control (η2p = .02/.02) from vaping.

Conclusions:

The S-VCQ evidences solid psychometrics as a measure of adult e-cigarette users’ vaping expectancies.

Implications:

The current study provides evidence for the reliability and validity of the S-VCQ, the first measure of vaping expectancies that has been validated for use with adult e-cigarette users. Results indicated that the S-VCQ comprises four subscales that evidence internal consistency, scalar measurement invariance for important groups of interest, and test-criterion relationships with vaping outcomes. Researchers are encouraged to consider using this measure for assessing vaping expectancies in adult e-cigarette users.

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