Psychometric properties of the Autonomy over Tobacco Scale in German

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


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.


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

DOI of Published Version



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

Journal/Book/Conference Title

European addiction research

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed