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National Cancer Institute
Behavioral Research - Cancer Control and Population Sciences

NCI Measures Guide for Youth Tobacco Research

Self-efficacy Scale for Adolescent Smoking
Lawrance, 1989

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Brief Description: The self-efficacy scale describes social and emotional situations in which people are likely to smoke and is used to predict smoking in young adolescents. This 36-item scale was based on a study by Condiotte & Lichtenstein (1981) and modified from a longer version (Lawrance & Rubinson, 1989) to reflect age-related differences. This paper and pencil self-report measure uses a 6-point Likert scale (1= I am very sure I would smoke to 6 = I am very sure I would not smoke) to rate responses to each situation.
Target Population: Validated on a community sample of seventh grade students from an urban school district
Administrative Issues: Self-administered, paper and pencil instrument.
Scoring Information: Subscale scores are obtained by summing raw scores across the items on each of the three scales (Social Opportunities, Emotions, and Friend Influence). A higher score indicates a greater likelihood of resisting smoking.
Sum the raw score for items in each scale:
Social Opportunities Scale items: 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 18, 20, 21, 23, 30
Emotions Scale items: 8, 10, 22, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31
Friends' Influence Scale items: 1, 6, 11, 13, 14, 15, 25, 32, 34

The source article presents normative information (means and standard deviations) on the adolescent sample.
Psychometrics: The scale was validated on a sample of 567 seventh grade students.

Internal consistency (Cronbach's alphas):
Social Opportunities Scale: .94
Emotions Scale: .96
Friends' Influence Scale: .94

Test-retest reliability (two weeks):
Social Opportunities Scale: .90
Emotions Scale: .90
Friends' Influence Scale: .92

Concurrent validity:
Significant associations with smoking behavior group (non-smokers, experimenters, and smokers) (p < .001).

Predictive validity:
Self-efficacy scores differentiated smoking behavior groups over 6 months, controlling for initial smoking status (p < .05).
Clinical Utility of Instrument: This measure is useful in predicting future smoking behavior and in determining specific situations in which adolescents are likely to smoke. Intervention efforts could focus on developing coping strategies for these situations and learning how to avoid them. The instrument may also be used to evaluate the effects of an intervention to increase self-efficacy related to smoking. The scale may facilitate identification of adolescents who are at risk for becoming smokers in prevention programs.
Research Applicability: This measure can be used in smoking cessation and treatment research.
Copyright, Cost, and Source Issues: Available at no cost. Copyright 1989. Please acknowledge author in your use and share results with author.
Source Reference: Lawrance, L. (1989). Validation of a self-efficacy scale to predict adolescent smoking. Health Education Research Theory and Practice, 4, 351-360.
Supporting References: None.
Author: Lyn Lawrance, Ph.D.
Contact Information: International Programs Center
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
127 McIver Street
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
  Condiotte, M., and Lichtenstein, E. (1981). Self-efficacy and relapse in smoking cessation programs. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 49, 648-658.

Lawrance, L., Rubinson, L. (1989). Self-efficacy as a predictor of smoking behavior in young adolescents. Addictive Behaviors, 11, 367-382.
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Last Updated: May 1, 2012

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