Sep 4, 2014
Published In: Nicotine and Tobacco Research, v. 16, suppl. 3, Sep. 2014, p. S232-S240
Posted on RAND.org on August 22, 2014
INTRODUCTION: Negative psychosocial expectancies of smoking include aspects of social disapproval and disappointment in oneself. This paper describes analyses conducted to develop and evaluate item banks for assessing psychosocial expectancies among daily and nondaily smokers. METHODS: Using data from a 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 analyses (according to gender, age, and race/ethnicity) to arrive at a unidimensional set of psychosocial expectancies items for daily and nondaily smokers. We also evaluated performance of short forms (SFs) and computer adaptive tests (CATs) to efficiently assess psychosocial expectancies. RESULTS: A total of 21 items were included in the Psychosocial Expectancies item banks: 14 items are common across daily and nondaily smokers, 6 are unique to daily, and 1 is unique to nondaily. For both daily and nondaily smokers, the Psychosocial Expectancies item banks are strongly unidimensional, highly reliable (reliability = 0.95 and 0.93, respectively), and perform similarly across gender, age, and race/ethnicity groups. A SF common to daily and nondaily smokers consists of 6 items (reliability = 0.85). Results from simulated CATs showed that, on average, fewer than 8 items are needed to assess psychosocial expectancies with adequate precision when using the item banks. CONCLUSIONS: Psychosocial expectancies of smoking can be assessed on the basis of these item banks via the SF, by using CAT, or through a tailored set of items selected for a specific research purpose.