Abstinence-related motivational engagement for smoking cessation: Longitudinal patterns and predictive validity

PLoS One. 2021 Mar 4;16(3):e0247867. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0247867. eCollection 2021.


The Abstinence-Related Motivational Engagement (ARME) scale was developed to assess motivation to remain abstinent after a smoking cessation attempt. The ARME demonstrated reliability and validity among a small sample of ex-smokers. This study expands the psychometric evaluation of the ARME and tests the ARME as a predictor of smoking status among a sample of participants quitting smoking. The parent trial tested the efficacy of a self-help smoking cessation intervention (N = 1874), with assessments every 6 months. Internal consistency and factor structure of the ARME was evaluated at each assessment to confirm use of the measure as designed. Discriminant validity was assessed by comparing the ARME to the Situation-specific Abstinence Self-Efficacy (SSE) scale via inter-correlations and prediction of future smoking status. Finally, the trajectories of both the ARME and SSE were compared among continuous abstainers and continuous smokers. A single-factor structure was observed at each assessment. Cronbach's alphas ranged from 0.88-0.91 for the total sample. Correlations between the ARME and the SSE ranged from 0.38-0.47 (ps <0.001) among smokers; and from 0.09-0.15 (most ps > 0.05) among abstainers. Among current smokers, the ARME and SSE were independent positive predictors of subsequent abstinence (AORs 1.28-2.29, ps <0.001). For those currently abstinent, only the SSE predicted subsequent abstinence (AORs 1.69-2.60, ps <0.05). GEE analyses showed different trajectories for the two measures, as well as between abstainers and smokers. In conclusion, the ARME is a reliable, valid measure with unique predictive utility for current smokers and a distinct trajectory among those who have successfully quit.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Psychometrics
  • Self Efficacy
  • Smokers
  • Smoking / therapy
  • Smoking Cessation* / psychology