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Tobacco Abstinence Motives in Young Adult College Students: Scale Development and Validation

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Objectives: Our objective was to develop a scale to assess motives for abstaining from tobacco use among young adults. Methods: We analyzed 2016 survey data from 2094 US college students (ages 18-25) who reported no past-4-month tobacco use. We developed a 10-item scale and examined its reliability and validity, specifically in relationship to future use intentions; perceived addictiveness, health risks, and social acceptability of tobacco use; and tobacco product use at 4-month follow-up. Results: Factor analysis identified 2 factors: Social Concerns and Instrumental Concerns. Bivariate analyses regarding convergent and discriminant validity indicated that both subscales were associated with lower future tobacco use intentions; greater perceived addictiveness and harm to health; and lower likelihood of follow-up use across products (ps < .05). Social Concerns scores were associated with all psychosocial factors; Instrumental Concerns scores were not associated with perceived social acceptability or parental tobacco use. Multivariable logistic regression indicated that lower Social Concerns scores predicted any follow-up tobacco use (p = .027); lower Instrumental Concerns scores predicted follow-up e-cigarette use (p = .037). Additionally, Tobacco Abstinence Motives scores contributed significantly to each model. Conclusions: This scale demonstrated good psychometric properties and identi- fied social and instrumental concerns as potential intervention targets to promote young adult abstinence.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2019

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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