Background/aims: We investigated the psychometric properties of a German translation of the 12-item Autonomy over Tobacco Scale (AUTOS) among 1,195 eighth-grade students.
Methods: Data for this study were collected as part of the fourth wave of data collection of the Smokefree Class Competition intervention in the Saxony-Anhalt region of Germany. Students from the control arm of the Smokefree Class Competition study who indicated that they had ever smoked 'at least a few puffs' on a cigarette were classified as ever-smokers. They self-completed questionnaires distributed by teachers.
Results: AUTOS scores ranged from 0 to 36 with a distribution highly skewed toward lower-response categories. Inter-item correlations ranged from 0.65 to 0.89 (mean = 0.79, SD = 0.06). Composite reliability for the AUTOS was high (Ω = 0.96) and 3 lower-order factors were also reliable (withdrawal: 0.89, psychological dependence: 0.91, cue-induced cravings: 0.87). Concurrent validity was supported by strong relationships between the AUTOS and both lifetime cigarette consumption and current smoking frequency. Youths were 18 times more likely to be current smokers (95% CI = 11.9-27.2, p < 0.001) if they endorsed any AUTOS item.
Conclusion: The German AUTOS is reliable and valid, and the results are consistent with the English AUTOS for use with adolescents.
Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.