While prominent theories of addiction implicate physical dependence as a key predictor of drug use and relapse, the limited available research among Latinos has generally found that physical dependence has limited utility for predicting cessation. Specifically, the smoking pattern of Latino smokers differs notably from that of non-Latino White smokers in a manner that suggests physical dependence may not be a strong motivator of tobacco use and smoking relapse among Latino smokers.

Further, Spanish-language instruments for measuring dependence multidimensionally have demonstrated poor psychometric structure among Spanish-speaking Latino smokers. Currently, there is critical need for an in-depth examination of the appropriateness of dependence scale translations and the relevance of item content for Spanish-speaking Latino smokers.

The purpose for this research project is to develop a theoretically grounded, multidimensional measure of smoking dependence based on established measures but that is appropriate, reliable, and valid for Spanish-speaking smokers.

This research project will be conducted within four phases.  Phase one will identify potential current translation problems of the Wisconsin Inventory of Smoking Dependence Motives (WISDM) and Nicotine Dependence Syndrome Scale (NDSS). Phase two will consist of a focus group study of the lived experience of dependence among Spanish-speaking smokers of Mexican origin. Phase three will consist of item refinement and development informed by data gathered in phases one and two. Phase four will consist of validation of the resulting refined Brief WISDM and NDSS scales, as well as an examination of the entire pool of resulting items for potential development of a different and possibly more appropriate measure.

This research project stands to significantly impact research among Latinos across the tobacco continuum by allowing for more valid assessments of dependence among Latinos. Additionally, this research has the potential to provide culturally relevant knowledge of the processes involved in smoking initiation, maintenance, cessation and relapse to those working with Latinos.

Funding for this project was made possible (in part) by GRANT #: R21 MD011431 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The views expressed in written project materials or publications do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.