Smoking Consequences Questionnaire: A Reevaluation of the Psychometric Properties Across Two Independent Samples of Smokers

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Abstract

Drug use outcome expectancies are a central construct to psychosocial theories of addictive disorders. In tobacco literature, the Smoking Consequences Questionnaire (SCQ; Brandon & Baker, 1991) is a tool used to assess this construct. Despite its common use, the SCQ has received little psychometric evaluation. In the current report, samples from 2 studies were used to examine the assumed SCQ structure, develop a novel truncated scale, and evaluate the psychometric properties of the novel scale. In Study 1, the 4-factor SCQ structure was examined using data from 343 (32.4% female; Mage = 43.7; SD = 10.8) adult nontreatment-seeking smokers. Results from Study 1 indicated that the 4-factor SCQ structure did not adequately explain covariance between items. Instead, results provided evidence for a 5-factor structure that tapped into outcome expectancies related to (a) immediate negative consequences (IC), (b) long-term negative consequences (LTC), (c) sensory satisfaction (SS), (d) negative affect reduction, and (e) appetite-weight control (AW). In Study 2, the 5-factor structure of the SCQ was confirmed and the construct validity was evaluated in 582 (48.2% female; Mage = 36.9; SD = 13.5) treatment-seeking adult smokers. Study 2 found evidence for measurement invariance across sex and overtime of the 5-factor structure as well as substantial construct validity. Results from 2 independent samples challenge the traditional 4-factor model of the SCQ, and instead, provide evidence for a novel 5-factor SCQ structure with strong validity and reliability. Alternate scoring algorithms for the SCQ, including a 5-subscale scheme, warrant consideration to ensure optimal measurement precision and construct differentiation.

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