Confirming the structure of the Why Do You Smoke? Questionnaire: a community resource for adolescent tobacco cessation. Academic Article uri icon


  • In response to the problem of adolescent smoking and limited appropriate cessation resources, this study examined the pattern and structure of the American Lung Association, Why Do You Smoke? (WDS) to determine its appropriateness for use in youth smoking cessation programs. The WDS is used to help smokers identify primary motivations for using tobacco and is comprised of eight subscales, each with three items representing primary smoking motivations ("Stimulation," "Handling," "Pleasure," "Crutch," "Psychological," "Habit," "Peer," and "Independence"). Study participants were all minors enrolled in a tobacco cessation program (n = 251). The pattern and structure of this self-assessment was examined using a correlated multiple group component factor analysis as a confirmatory approach. Findings show that the level of endorsement (as evidenced by subscale means and standard deviations) was relatively large across the eight subscales. Alpha coefficients ranged from .54 to .85. Results also underlined that the pattern coefficient matrix provided support for the hypothesized subscales through an examination of simultaneously extracted confidence intervals. These subscales should be further examined as to their usefulness in cessation interventions, such as the validity of using this instrument by gender, ethnicity, and age. However, from a measurement perspective, the confirmatory analysis provides excellent credence for the continued use of the WDS in cognitive/behavioral intervention programs targeting adolescents.

published proceedings

  • J Drug Educ

author list (cited authors)

  • Smith, D. W., Lee, J. T., Colwell, B., & Stevens-Manser, S.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Smith, Dennis W||Lee, Jay T||Colwell, Brian||Stevens-Manser, Stacey

publication date

  • March 2008