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Developed in a collaborative effort between the psychology departments at Carleton College and the University of Vermont, the Smoking Abstinence Expectancies Questionnaire (SAEQ) assesses, among daily smokers, expected short-term psychological and physiological consequences to (hypothetically) abstaining from smoking.

Initial scale items, completed by 326 smokers, were constructed on the basis of theory, empirical evidence, and expert review. The final SAEQ has 28 items and 4 internally consistent subscales:

  • Negative Mood (e.g., “I would feel grouchy”)
  • Somatic Symptoms (e.g., “My throat would feel dry”)
  • Harmful Consequences (e.g., “I would feel like I’m dying”)
  • Positive Consequences (e.g., “I would feel calm”)

The full scale shows good internal consistency (∝ = .86), test–retest reliability over a 2-week span (r = .82), as well as convergent and discriminant validity.

There exists preliminary empirical support for the SAEQ as a tool in smoking cessation research and treatment planning. It may assist prediction models of successful quitting, enable clinicians to target specific expectancies, and give researchers a broader understanding of cognitive processes that influence smoking.

Reference: Abrams, K., Zvolensky, M., Dorman, L., Gonzalez, A., & Mayer, M. (2011). Development and validation of the Smoking Abstinence Expectancies Questionnaire. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 13, 1296-1304.