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National Cancer Institute
Behavioral Research - Cancer Control and Population Sciences

NCI Measures Guide for Youth Tobacco Research

Short Form Smoking Consequences Questionnaire (S-SCQ)
Myers et al., 2003

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Brief Description: This modified version of the SCQ (Brandon & Baker, 1991) assesses cigarette smoking outcome expectancies among adolescents and young adults. This 21-item pencil and paper self-report measure uses a 10-point Likert scale (0=completely unlikely to 9=completely likely) to rate the likelihood of occurrence of each smoking consequence item. The four factors are consistent with the original SCQ subscales and include Negative Consequences (4 items), Positive Reinforcement (5 items), Negative Reinforcement (7 items), and Appetite-Weight Control (5 items).
Target Population: Validated on a sample of young adults (ages 18-24) and adolescents (ages 13-19) with a history of substance abuse treatment.
Administrative Issues: Self-administered, pencil and paper instrument.
Scoring Information: Subscale scores are obtained by summing raw scores across the items on each scale. A higher score indicates stronger valence of expectancies.
Sum the raw scores for items in each scale:
Negative Consequences Scale items: 11, 15, 18, and 21;
Positive Reinforcement Scale items: 1, 4, 8, 9, and 10;
Negative Reinforcement Scale items: 3, 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, and 20;
Appetite/Weight Control Scale items: 2, 6, 13, 16, and 17.

The source article presents normative information (means and standard deviations) on the young adult and adolescent samples.
Psychometrics: A short form of the SCQ was derived in a sample of 107 young adults and cross-validated in a sample of 125 adolescents.

Internal consistency (Cronbach's alphas):
Adolescents:
    Negative Consequences Scale: .84
    Positive Reinforcement Scale: .95
    Negative Reinforcement Scale: .92
    Appetite/Weight Control Scale: .93
Construct Validity:
    Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) of the 4-factor structure of the S-SCQ indicated good fit (Young adults: CFI = .92, TLI = .92, SRMSR = .08; Adolescents: CFI = .94, TLI = .93, SRMSR = .07)
Concurrent Validity:
    Association with smoking quantity (cigs/day): Adults: r = 0.50; Adolescents: r = 0.32
    Association with smoking frequency (days/month): Adults: r = 0.42; Adolescents: r = 0.32
    Association with nicotine dependence (FTND, Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence): Adults: r = 0.52; Adolescents: r = 0.28
    Association with quit attempts: Adolescents: r = 0.23
Predictive Validity (2 year follow-up):
    Association with smoking frequency (days/month): Adults: r = 0.46 (Not available for the adolescent sample).
Clinical Utility of Instrument: Cigarette smoking outcome expectancies provide information on the factors that may motivate youth to smoke. The utility of this measure as a predictor of youth smoking intervention outcomes may be explored in future research.
Research Applicability: TThis measure can be used to investigate the role of smoking outcome expectancies among youth with a history of substance abuse treatment or heavy smoking in smoking cessation and treatment research.
Copyright, Cost, and Source Issues: Available at no cost.
Source Reference: Myers, M.G., McCarthy, D.M., MacPherson, L., & Brown, S.A. (2003). Constructing a Short Form of the Smoking Consequences Questionnaire with Adolescents and Young Adults. Psychological Assessment, 15(2), 163-172.
Supporting References: None.
Author: Mark G. Myers, Ph.D.
Contact Information: Psychology Service 116B Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System 3350 La Jolla Village Drive San Diego, CA 92161 Email: mgmyers@ucsd.edu
  Brandon, T. H., & Baker, T. B. (1991). The Smoking Consequences Questionnaire: The subjective expected utility of smoking in college students. Psychological Assessment: A Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 3, 484-491.
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Last Updated: May 1, 2012

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