Sep 4, 2014
Published In: Nicotine and Tobacco Research, v. 16, suppl. 3, Sep. 2014, p. S202-S211
Posted on RAND.org on August 01, 2014
OBJECTIVE: Smoking is a coping strategy for many smokers who then have difficulty finding new ways to cope with negative affect when they quit. This paper describes analyses conducted to develop and evaluate item banks for assessing the coping expectancies of smoking for daily and nondaily smokers. METHODS: Using data from a large sample of daily (N = 4,201) and nondaily (N = 1,183) smokers, we conducted a series of item factor analyses, item response theory analyses, and differential item functioning (DIF) analyses (according to gender, age, and ethnicity) to arrive at a unidimensional set of items for daily and nondaily smokers. We also evaluated performance of short forms (SFs) and computer adaptive tests (CATs) for assessing coping expectancies of smoking. RESULTS: For both daily and nondaily smokers, the unidimensional Coping Expectancies item banks (21 items) are relatively DIF free and are highly reliable (0.96 and 0.97, respectively). A common 4-item SF for daily and nondaily smokers also showed good reliability (0.85). Adaptive tests required an average of 4.3 and 3.7 items for simulated daily and nondaily respondents, respectively, and achieved reliabilities of 0.91 for both when the maximum test length was 10 items. CONCLUSIONS: This research provides a new set of items that can be used to reliably assess coping expectancies of smoking, through a SF, CAT, or a tailored set selected for a specific research purpose.