Measuring vaping-related expectancies in young adults: Psychometric evaluation of the Electronic Nicotine Vaping Outcomes (ENVO) scale

Paul T. Harrell, Thomas H. Brandon, Stephen E. Stark, Vani N. Simmons, Tracey E. Barnett, Gwendolyn P. Quinn, Seokjoon Chun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Electronic cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco products by young adults. Measures of beliefs about outcomes of use (i.e., expectancies) can be helpful in predicting use, as well as informing and evaluating interventions to impact use. Methods: We surveyed young adult students (N = 2296, Mean age=20.0, SD=1.8, 64 % female, 34 % White) from a community college, a historically black university, and a state university. Students answered ENDS expectancy items derived from focus groups and expert panel refinement using Delphi methods. Factor Analysis and Item Response Theory (IRT) methods were used to understand relevant factors and identify useful items. Results: A 5-factor solution [Positive Reinforcement (consists of Stimulation, Sensorimotor, and Taste subthemes, α = .92), Negative Consequences (Health Risks and Stigma, α = .94), Negative Affect Reduction (α = .95), Weight Control (α = .92), and Addiction (α = .87)] fit the data well (CFI=0.95; TLI=0.94; RMSEA=0.05) and was invariant across subgroups. Factors were significantly correlated with relevant vaping measures, including vaping susceptibility and lifetime vaping. Hierarchical linear regression demonstrated factors were significant predictors of lifetime vaping after controlling for demographics, vaping ad exposure, and peer/family vaping. IRT analyses indicated that individual items tended to be related to their underlying constructs (a parameters ranged from 1.26 to 3.18) and covered a relatively wide range of the expectancies continuum (b parameters ranged from −0.72 to 2.47). Conclusions: A novel ENDS expectancy measure appears to be a reliable measure for young adults with promising results in the domains of concurrent validity, incremental validity, and IRT characteristics. This tool may be helpful in predicting use and informing future interventions. Implications: Findings provide support for the future development of computerized adaptive testing of vaping beliefs. Expectancies appear to play a role in vaping similar to smoking and other substance use. Public health messaging should target expectancies to modify young adult vaping behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109861
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - 1 May 2023


  • E-cigarettes
  • ENDS
  • Expectancies
  • Factor analysis
  • Item response theory
  • Measurement invariance
  • Psychometrics
  • Vaping
  • Young adult


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