This study describes the development and the initial psychometric properties of a 20-item, self-report measure to assess Bandura's construct of self-efficacy applied to alcohol abstinence. Efficacy expectations are theorized to mediate behavior change and moderate effort and effective action. The sample was 174 male and 92 female subjects who came to an outpatient alcoholism treatment clinic. Abstinence efficacy was assessed with subject ratings on a 5-point Likert scale of confidence to abstain from alcohol across 20 different high-risk situations. A parallel set of items assessed subjects' temptation to drink in each situation. This Alcohol Abstinence Self-Efficacy scale (AASE) demonstrated a solid subscale structure and strong indices of reliability and validity. The four 5-item subscales measured types of relapse precipitants labeled negative affect, social positive, physical and other concerns, and withdrawal and urges. Both in structure and mean scores the AASE demonstrated no substantive gender differences. The AASE represents a brief, easily usable and psychometrically sound measure of an individual's self-efficacy to abstain from drinking.