Chris G Richardson, PhD

ANSS: Publications

Richardson, C. G., Memetovic, J., Ratner, P. A.., & Johnson, J. L. (2011). Examining gender differences in emerging tobacco use using the Adolescents’ Need For Smoking Scale. Addiction, 106, 1846-1854.

Abstract: Aims: To investigate the influence of gender on emerging tobacco use by testing for gender-based measurement invariance of the Adolescents’ Need for Smoking Scale (ANSS) and examining gender differences on each dimension across increasing levels of amount smoked. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting: Thirteen secondary schools located in British Columbia, Canada. Partoipants: Data from 1425 youth who reported smoking at least once in the past month. Measurements: Survey questions about demographic characteristics, tobacco smoking history and need for smoking. Findings: The multi-dimensional structure of the ANSS is equivalent in boys and girls and the ANSS questions are not gender-biased. There were no significant gender differences in the levels of physical dependence across increasing levels of amount smoked. Girls scored higher than boys on levels of emotional dependence across increasing levels of life-time cigarette exposure. Girls also had higher scores on the social dimension of the ANSS compared to boys among those who smoked 100 or more cigarettes. Conclusions: Canadian girls score higher than boys on measures of emotional dependence and social attitudes associated with tobacco smoking.

Abstract (PubMed)


Richardson, C. G., Johnson, J. L., Ratner, P. A., & Zumbo, B. D. (2009). The influence of web- versus paper-based formats on the assessment of tobacco dependence: Evaluating the measurement invariance of the Dimensions of Tobacco Dependence Scale. Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, 3, 1-14.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of mode of administration (internet-based, web survey format versus pencil-and-paper format) on responses to the Dimensions of Tobacco Dependence Scale (DTDS). Responses from 1,484 adolescents that reported using tobacco (mean age 16 years) were examined; 354 (23.9%) participants completed a web-based version and 1,130 (76.1%) completed a paper-based version of the survey. Both surveys were completed in supervised classroom environments. Use of the web-based format was associated with significantly shorter completion times and a small but statistically significant increase in the number of missing responses. Tests of measurement invariance indicated that using a web-based mode of administration did not influence the psychometric functioning of the DTDS. There were no significant differences between the web- and paper-based groups’ ratings of the survey’s length, their question comprehension, and their response accuracy. Overall, the results of the study support the equivalence of scores obtained from web- and paper-based versions of the DTDS in secondary school settings.

Abstract & link to article (Libertas Academica)


Okoli, C. T., Richardson, C. G., Ratner, P. A., & Johnson, J. L. (2008). Adolescents’ self-defined tobacco use status, marijuana use, and tobacco dependence. Addictive Behaviors, 33, 1491-1499.

Abstract: Aims: To examine differences in tobacco use and dependence between adolescents who are and are not marijuana users. Design: Cross-sectional analysis of existing survey data. Participants: Data were obtained from 7440 adolescents who completed the British Columbia Youth Survey of Smoking and Health II (BCYSOSH-II), a school based survey conducted in 2004. Measures: Responses to demographic, current smoking, alcohol use, self-defined tobacco and marijuana use status questions, perceived physical and mental addiction to tobacco, modified-Fagerstrom Tolerance Questionnaire (M-FTQ), and the Dimensions of Tobacco Dependence Scale (DTDS) were obtained. Findings: Marijuana users were 5.9 times more likely to be current tobacco smokers and reported higher levels of perceived addiction to tobacco as compared with marijuana non-users. After controlling for demographics, life-time tobacco use, and alcohol use, marijuana use was associated with the nicotine dependent and sensory dimensions of tobacco dependence. Conclusions: Adolescents who concurrently use tobacco and marijuana may be more tobacco dependent than are marijuana non-users. Concurrent use of marijuana may be a factor associated with tobacco dependence among a sub-group of concomitant drug-using adolescents.

Abstract (PubMed)


Richardson, C. G., Johnson, J. L., Ratner, P. A., Zumbo, B. D., Bottorff, J. L., Shoveller, J. A., & Prkachin, K. M. (2007). Validation of the Dimensions of Tobacco Dependence Scale for adolescents. Addictive Behaviors, 32, 1498-1504.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to refine the Dimensions of Tobacco Dependence Scale (DTDS) – a measure of tobacco dependence for adolescents – by removing poorly discriminating items, testing the measurement structure of the remaining items and examining the predictive utility of the resulting scale in terms of its ability to explain the average number of cigarettes smoked per day (CPD). A total of 1425 current smokers (mean age 16 years) completed the questionnaire. Confirmatory factor analyses of the DTDS items supported a 4-factor model composed of social, emotional, nicotine and sensory related dimensions of tobacco dependence. Predictive utility and incremental validity of the DTDS was evident in the many sizable correlations between the DTDS and CPD as well as measures of self-rated addiction after controlling for scores on several other commonly used measures of nicotine dependence. The results indicate that the DTDS is a reliable and valid measure of tobacco dependence for adolescents that has the potential to enhance our understanding of the complex processes driving the emergence of tobacco dependence and cigarette smoking.

Abstract (PubMed)


Johnson, J. L., Ratner, P. A., Tucker, R. S., Bottorff, J. L., Zumbo, B., Prkachin, K. M., & Shoveller, J. (2005). Development of a multidimensional measure of tobacco dependence in adolescence. Addictive Behaviors, 30, 501-505.

Abstract: The objective of this research was to develop a multidimensional measure of tobacco dependence, sensitive to signs of incipient dependence and relevant to adolescents. A cross-sectional survey was conducted of students attending randomly selected high schools in two regions of British Columbia, Canada. Of the 3280 adolescents who completed the survey, 17% (n=562) indicated that they had smoked at least once in the month preceding the survey and were classified as “smokers.” Ninety-one percent of the smokers (n=513) completed all or most of the items and comprised the sample for the analysis. The survey included a number of items related to smoking status and nicotine dependence, including the newly developed Dimensions of Tobacco-Dependence Scale (DTDS), a 54-item multidimensional measure of tobacco dependence. Exploratory factor analyses using MINRES was used to examine the dimensions of the DTDS. The measure was found to include four dimensions: social reinforcement, emotional reinforcement, sensory reinforcement, and physical reinforcement. All subscales had adequate reliability (Cronbach’s alpha coefficients >.70).

Abstract (PubMed)


The qualitative study that lead to the development of the ANSS is described in:

Johnson, J. L., Bottorff, J. L., Moffat, B., Ratner, P. A., Shoveller, J. A., & Lovato, C. Y. (2003). Tobacco dependence: Adolescents’ perspectives on the need to smoke. Social Science and Medicine, 56, 1481-1492.

Abstact: To address the need for a better understanding of the perspective of Canadian youths on tobacco dependence, a qualitative study using ethnographic techniques was conducted to describe the patterns of language that they use to describe tobacco dependence and the meaning that it has for them. The study was comprised of three inter-related phases: (1) A secondary analysis of 47 individual unstructured interviews with adolescents was completed to identify the words and phrases they use to explain tobacco dependence; (2) contrast and structural questions focusing on tobacco dependence were developed and used in open-ended interviews with 13 adolescents. Data analysis of the transcribed interviews resulted in a set of 60 key phrases that represented the primary ways youths describe the need to smoke; and (3) interviews were conducted with 14 adolescents that involved an open card sort using the set of 60 key phrases. All card sorts and transcribed interview data were analyzed to identify domains representing types of tobacco dependence and sub-types within each domain. From their descriptions about the need to smoke, five aspects of tobacco dependence were identified: social, pleasurable, empowering, emotional, and full-fledged. This study provides a step in elucidating the construct of tobacco dependence among the young. Further research is required to extend this understanding and to develop appropriate measures.

Abstract (PubMed)