Aims. This paper reports on a study to establish the psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the dimensions of Tobacco Dependence Scale as these apply in Taiwan. Background. The instruments for measuring cigarette dependence among adolescent smokers are not available in Taiwan. Therefore, it has not so far been possible to assess such dependence. Design. Survey. Method. A sample comprising 293 adolescent smokers was recruited. They were drawn from nine senior high schools in middle and southern Taiwan. The Dimensions of Tobacco Dependence Scale and the Fagerstrom Test of nicotine dependence were administered, with saliva being subjected to salivary cotinine analysis using competitive enzyme immunoassay kits. Results. The internal structure of the Dimensions of Tobacco Dependence Scale (DTDS) was first examined using exploratory factor analysis with promax rotation. By applying the parallel test as the means of selection, four criteria emerged from the factor analysis that accounted for 47·7% of the variance. Concerning criterion validity, the DTDS was found to have a positive and significant association with the Fagerstrom test of nicotine dependence scores (r = 0·58; p < 0·01) and with saliva cotinine levels (r = 0·30; p < 0·01). Cronbach's α values for the DTDS were 0·94. Conclusions. The study confirmed that the Chinese version of the DTDS is similar to the English version in that it is multidimensional and has consistent factor structures. And, as a result of the study, it was established that the Chinese version of the Dimensions of Tobacco Dependence Scale is a reliable and valid measure of tobacco dependence among adolescents in Taiwan. Relevance to clinical practice. The DTDS can provide health professionals with a reference measure for assessing adolescents' tobacco dependence when applied in the context of a smoking cessation programme.
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