Psychometric properties of the Autonomy over Tobacco Scale in German

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health



Document Type



Adolescent; Factor Analysis, Statistical; Female; Germany; Humans; Male; Personal Autonomy; Psychiatric Status Rating Scales; Psychometrics; Questionnaires; Reproducibility of Results; Smoking


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Preventive Medicine | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychology | Substance Abuse and Addiction


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 (Omega = 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.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Eur Addict Res. 2012;18(2):76-82. doi: 10.1159/000334410. Epub 2011 Dec 22. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed


adolescents, smoking, tobacco, assessment, dependence, Germany, autonomy over tobacco